Within any learning program, learners need to be assessed to measure their growth over time. Some questions managers might consider for their learners when they build assessments include:
• Are they retaining what they’ve learned?
• Have their skills improved?
• Are they performing better?
How Are Learners Usually Assessed?
The most common—and traditional—methods of assessing learners are summative assessments, which tend to involve higher stakes and evaluates learning at the end of a class or program, and formative assessments, which usually have lower stakes and involve assessing learners and providing feedback during the learning process.
We’re all familiar with both types of assessments: when we think back to our school days, we took those dreaded final exams, gave presentations, or submitted term papers or projects that evaluated and summed up what we learned at the end of a class (summative assessments). Similarly, quizzes or shorter learning opportunities (formative assessments) were often used to help prepare us for the final assessments.
Within organizations, summative assessments are sometimes used after employees complete onboarding or finish a certification program, and formative assessments may be more common in longer or ongoing training programs, such as role-plays for sale reps.
Social Assessments: Getting Peers Involved
Then there’s also social assessment, which allows people to coach their peers, and is a key component of the Bridge Practice solution. Peers can evaluate one another on their skill level, provide feedback, and in the process, reflect on their own performance.
Although providing consistent feedback to all learners can be quite time-consuming for managers, leveraging social assessment allows learners to receive actionable, timely feedback from their peers and reduces the burden on managers.
To Score or Not to Score
In general, assessments are often built with an associated score that demonstrates whether learners have mastered the content or skill. We received scores on our final exams and grades at the ends of our classes, and based on these scores, we could pass or fail a test or class. An employee might receive a certification if they achieved a certain score.
Yet in some situations, scores aren’t the most effective way of reflecting how much a learner has developed. Some companies may want to provide feedback to their employees in training programs, but don’t want to include the pressure of a score, and instead focus on growth and areas of improvement.
This is where assessments without scores come in. Using unscored assessments allows companies to train and assess their employees in different, qualitative ways without tying a hard number to development.
Unscored Assessments on Bridge Practice
At Bridge, we continuously enhance our solutions to enable purpose-driven employee development, and we are excited to announce the release of Bridge Practice’s “unscored assessments” feature, which allows managers to choose from scored assessments or unscored assessments.
How Does it Work?
Managers can create assessments that don’t include scores, but still have choices that provide feedback to employees.
Horizontal or Vertical Layout
Assessments can also be displayed in a vertical or horizontal layout. In the vertical layout, an assessment can contain up to 10 choices, while in the horizontal layout, up to five choices can be shown.
Managers also have the option to create a scored assessment, but hide scores from learners. This allows managers who prefer to assess with a score have visibility into these numbers, but still removes the experience of receiving a grade on the learner’s end.
A Safe Environment to Practice, Fail, and Grow
Without the pressure of a score, learners can focus on where they need to improve, rather than right or wrong answers. Managers can also target specific skills for development, such as communication, leadership, product knowledge, or presentation skills.
Practice co-founder and general manager, Emily Foote, explained that participating in a Practice exercise with an unscored assessment provides “a safer environment to learn, grow, practice, and develop. It’s not a place to be punished for what you don’t know; rather, it’s a safe place to fail and consequently, grow.”
If you would like more information about unscored assessments on Practice, please visit the Release Notes page in Bridge Community or contact your CSM.
We would love your feedback about this, any other feature in Practice, or any of our other products within the Bridge suite of solutions. To submit an idea or provide feedback on an existing idea, please join Bridge Studio, our ideas exchange platform.