Testing as an Effective Learning Aid
As Heraclitus famously said, “The only thing that is constant is change”. We always crib about life not being fair as we don’t see any positive change in the way we live, behave, and deal with circumstances both at home and work. This is because we live in our past and constantly mull over our failures and shortcomings. The only way change will happen is to live in the present and plan meaningfully for our future. The only recipe for success is continuous learning.
Just like we require food for the nourishment of our body, our mind is only nourished by continued learning. Learning is vital and very essential to our existence. Continued learning is an enabler that aids us to acquire both hard and soft skills to create a lasting and positive impact on our lives.
Now the moot point is how to measure and retain our learning?
One of the essential metrics to assess the effectiveness of training is a reliable and robust test. Research has shown that taking tests can improve the test takers and help that information in the long term. The gained knowledge is then used in new contexts that constantly arise at one’s workplace and in the outside environment strengthening our long-term memories in the process. Tests also help in gauging our proficiency in the subject matter we want to learn.
Learning is effective if we are only able to know what we have not learned that we were supposed to learn. A test has to be goal-oriented matching the learning objective. The test needs to be meaningfully designed, developed, and deployed to provide the required amount of feedback to the test taker to analyze his/her strengths and weaknesses of the performance on the test. Once the test taker evaluates his shortfalls, it motivates him/her to revisit the subject matter and master it. Every test instance boosts one’s confidence and finally helps complete the test securing the desired results.
Testing, therefore, is a metric that gives you accurate measurements about your learning and its application in different contexts. Words like adequate knowledge and less knowledge are vague and may bring bias to the person evaluating. Proficiency in a subject matter can only be gauged by a person’s test report and his/her ability to apply the knowledge in available contexts. A person desiring to learn a new skill or enhance his existing capability has to upskill himself. Industrial certifications are abounding in every vertical. In order to prepare and ensure that we pass the certification exam and retain learning, one needs to test his understanding of the subject matter.
Therefore, a meaningful, robust, and effective test tool is essential to ones learning. The tool has to be modular, scalable providing an ease of use feel. Should I be able to brand the test to provide uniqueness to my student engagement, that will be a cherry on the cake!
Mobeen Khan firstname.lastname@example.org
Enabling meaningful learning and its application in different contexts