As we all know, training is a vitally important part of any business. Employees can learn new skills, acquire different expertise and progress in their careers. As a result of this personal development, they can carry out their roles and responsibilities a lot more effectively and efficiently, which enhances a business’ daily operations.
Even though a fair amount of time, money and effort is required to implement training programs, organisations need to think about the long-term benefits. Profits might not increase overnight, but a highly skilled workforce that is better equipped to meet company objectives and consumer requirements can be a priceless asset.
However, existing learning systems have several flaws and faults, especially when it comes to retaining and reciting information that has been learnt on courses or programs. Therefore, more and more businesses are looking at alternative ways to teach and test employees. One of the most prominent and powerful techniques is continual assessment.
What is continual assessment?
Often used in schools and higher education institutions, continual assessment is when a student is evaluated and tested on a daily or fixed interval basis, instead of at the end of their teaching experience.
The advantage of this examination method is that an individual’s progress can be comprehensively and carefully tracked while they’re learning. That way, any subjects or topics that are not thoroughly understood can be taught again. Students can also receive better guidance and feedback on how they’re doing rather than receiving a simple grade or mark when the teaching is complete.
Think back to when you were at school and the things you remember most. There is a good chance you won’t remember particular questions and answers that came up on an end-of-year examination or test. However, you can probably recall a few essays or pieces of coursework, which took some time to complete. Because you were continually researching, learning and writing about the topics included within these assignments, it is better committed to your memory.
Therefore it makes sense for a business to adopt continuous assessment in order to gain a more complete picture of an employee’s learning. What’s more, the individual in question also benefits from ongoing evaluation and valuable feedback. But what do we mean by non-invasive continual assessment?
What is non-invasive continual assessment?
Non-invasive continual assessments are evaluations that integrate into an employee’s normal working day. From on-the-job monitoring in a factory to listening in on sales calls, this type of training deals with real-life scenarios then and there, allowing the teacher to see how employees perform first-hand.
A lot of the time, testing and teaching takes place away from the workplace in a backroom, office or facility elsewhere. Not only does this take the member of staff away from where he or she is needed most, the training environment usually has little to no relevance to the job either. Therefore, attention, engagement and interest levels will probably be low.
But with non-invasive continual assessments, employees don’t need to spend much time away from their post. Members of staff can simply get on with the job in hand, answer questions as they go and receive useful feedback.
Reasons to introduce non-invasive continual assessment
Improves learning standards - With the ability to progress at their own pace while remaining engaged by progressively more challenging work, employees are given the opportunity to maximise their potential. Thus, higher learning standards are achieved through individualised testing, which encourages members of staff to take on more responsibility too.
Encourages development - If employees receive steady feedback and subsequently realise they are doing well, there will be a desire to prove their mastery and keep on developing. They’ll also gain a greater understanding of the topics and subjects being presented. Employees benefit from greater self-awareness too, as they’ll know where gaps in their skills exist.
Reduces anxiety – The days and weeks leading up to a test or evaluation can be a nerve-wracking time. Employees might be spending too much time on revision and not enough on their actual job. On top of that, one-off examinations aren’t always a fair measurement of everyone’s own ability either. But with continual assessments, stress and anxiety is eliminated.
Greater clarification – Continual assessments tend to be much shorter and more defined than comprehensive tests or examinations. Therefore, an employee will know exactly what they’re been asked to do. When you test a group of individuals at the same time, the intended purpose can get confusing and certain employees might not grasp every aspect of the evaluation.
Non-invasive continual assessment systems
It's probably useful to look at a technological approach to facilitating this concept. Our solution Wranx does this ( but there are others on the market - this isnt a sales pitch! ) so I'll use it to explain the combination of features you should expect from a system if non-invasive continual assessment is your goal.
With our multi-device training solution, employees can learn new skills and expertise on the job via smartphones, tablets or on the computer. Therefore, even if a member of staff needs to be by the phone or behind a sales counter, they can still complete training exercises during quiet periods. By the same token, employees may even want to finish off a task or exercise on the daily commute or in the comfort of their own home. This is because training can be started on one device and concluded on another.
As for continually evaluating employees, our advanced learning solution uses a technique called Spaced Repetition, which has been proven to move knowledge from your short to long-term memory more effectively. Essentially, employees will be quizzed every day about a subject of your choosing. After the individual selects how well they knew the answer, Wranx will schedule that question again at some point in the future. If the employees’ knowledge was good, it won’t be brought up again for a while. But if their level of comprehension was lacking, it will come up the next day.
All the while you’ll be able to monitor enrolment and activity metrics, timing and durations, retention rates, predicted course completion dates and employee ranks on Wranx’s deep-dive reporting facility. This way, you have complete control over your employees’ training schedule and their ongoing development.