How to use feedback effectively in your assessments

Our assessments are increasingly more complete and there are lots of different ways to adapt them to the type of exam you want for your users. There are different basic parameters that you can configure:

  • Bank of questions: from the total number of questions, you can choose how many you want to appear each time the user access the assessment.
  • Pass grade: choose how many questions need to be answered correctly to pass the assessment.
  • Number of attempts: choose how many times the user is allowed to repeat the assessment.



Feedback as a learning resource

As well as this, you also have feedback. It’s a really powerful tool if you use it well. As in the assessment, apart from checking the user knowledge, adding feedback users will reinforce what they already know even more. How can you do this?

First, have a look at the two types of feedback that are available:

  • General feedback from the assessment: this is the message the user receives when they’ve finished the assessment. You can customize it according to whether the user has passed or failed.
  • Feedback for each question: this is the message that appears below each question during the assessment once the user has submitted an answer. You can customize it for each question according to whether the user has answered correctly or incorrectly, and also set it to only appear in certain circumstances:
    • Once the user has passed the assessment: this allows them to review the questions they got wrong and find out what the correct answer was and why.
    • When the user has failed the assessment and has run out of attempts.

Now you need to decide what to put in your feedback. Want to find out how to make really powerful messages? Here are a few tips:

Don’t limit yourself to messages like “Well done!” or “Your answer is incorrect”

  • If the user has answered the question correctly, you’ve got a golden opportunity to give an explanation which broadens their knowledge about that specific topic. It’s a really great opportunity because the user is happy that they got the right answer, is focused, and is ready to learn more.
  • If the user gets the answer wrong, try to help them do better next time using one of these strategies:
    • Explain why they’ve got the answer wrong without giving them the correct answer.
    • Ask them questions to get them to think for themselves about why they got it wrong.
    • Guide them in their learning. Point to the part of the course that contains the answer in case they want to revise it.
    • Give them encouragement to stop them feeling frustrated about getting the answer wrong.

General feedback from the assessment is your last contact with the user, so make the most of it.

  • Remind them that they can review their answers if they passed.
  • Suggest that they review the course content again before having another go.
  • Make the message useful, giving them advice to help them get a better result next time.

Although these tips are really simple, they’ll help provide your users with a much better learning experience and make the assessment useful for them as well as you!

Happy e-learning!

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