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Training and Education Tests

We just sat through a three-hour seminar and were given a test at the end. The instructor said our high test scores are an important measurement of the seminarís effectiveness. As a manager, I donít like being tested after training, and Iím not convinced a test can measure a seminarís effectiveness. What do you think?



Given a choice, or for that matter a multiple choice, people do not like to be given tests. However, there can be good reasons for having them in company training programs.

First, some programs require testing at the end, such as training for various certifications or legally mandated programs. In addition, tests can be a useful measure to determine whether the attendees actually learned the key points that were presented.

At the same time, your instructorís comment about high scores being an important measurement of the effectiveness of the seminar is a bit of a stretch. High scores on the test can mean many things. On the surface, such scores can indicate that the instructor and materials imparted the information well. However, it is also possible that the attendees already knew the information before attending the session. High scores can also be the sign of an easy test.

A seminarís effectiveness means more than what the attendees may have learned. The real measurement is whether the training impacted the attendeesí behavior, and whether there were measurable improvements in the work-related areas or issues that the training was trying to target. At the end of the day, all training programs should be put to this test.



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