Helping More Learners Make the Grade with Digital Self-Assessments
Whether they’re preparing for a professional exam or learning a new skill on the job, mastering new concepts successfully is the end goal for any learner. Self-assessment is a valuable tool in that it shows the learner whether or not they are on track to meet their goals, while also helping them focus their study time on the areas necessary to help improve their learning outcome.
As consumers expect a learning experience as intuitive and accessible as their favorite app, education, training, and assessment organizations are reimagining how they deliver self-assessments. In our ongoing series on digital learning for different content types, here’s how a platform like BenchPrep can offer learners on-demand, personalized feedback through self-assessments so they can master any topic.
Why are self-assessments important for learners?
Self-assessments help learners understand their level of knowledge on a subject and, perhaps more importantly, what they still need to learn. For learners preparing for high-stakes exams, these assessments offer insight into where they should be spending their time to prepare for the big day more efficiently and effectively. More than one in four U.S. workers currently hold a license or certification, and with employment rising in fields like healthcare that require certifications, even more professionals will need to commit to lifelong learning as part of their career.
Self-assessments can include long and short-form exams and question banks, with learners using them in a variety of ways:
- Standalone self-assessments. In some cases, learners use these practice materials on their own, without accompanying lessons. For example, aspiring realtors can use assessments to test their skills before taking their licensing exams. These assessments sometimes come with flashcards to help users brush up on concepts before taking the exam.
- Self-assessments included in courses. Other learning organizations fold self-assessments into their courses, helping to ensure learners are absorbing the material. These assessments can provide learners with predicted scores and help pinpoint areas where they need to focus their attention.
For organizations that don’t have access to instructional content or want to get courses to market quickly, offering self-assessments can be an ideal way to deliver value to learners.
How do learners typically take self-assessments?
Depending on what they’re studying, self-assessment options for learners can include:
- Print and online assessments, quizzes, and practice problems
- “Question of the day”-type email subscriptions or social media resources
- Open education resources, like Khan Academy, Quizlet, or OpenEd
- Materials from the company administering the final exam, if applicable
- Employer training courses
Many of these options lack the data-driven, personalized feedback students need to learn effectively, however. Without true insight into where they need help and the resources to strengthen those areas, learners may not be truly prepared for testing or putting their skills to use in the real world.
How can digital learning improve the self-assessment process for learners?
As the industry’s first learner success platform, BenchPrep’s self-assessment and question bank tools give learners an instant, personalized snapshot of their progress. Features like robust item banking, a powerful assessment engine, and predictive scoring have enabled partners like The Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC), to provide simulated practice assessment experience for Executive MBA (EMBA) candidates preparing for the Executive Assessment exam. The assessment is designed to evaluate the real-world skills of professionals applying for admission and is designed to help improve confidence levels and learner outcomes.
To optimize learner engagement and outcomes, BenchPrep’s self-assessments feature:
- Real-time feedback on strengths and weaknesses. As learners complete the assessment, BenchPrep provides immediate insight into where they need a little extra attention. Unlike traditional printed or online assessments, each learner can track where they need to brush up to create a more targeted, efficient study plan. The platform also measures the learner’s confidence levels on materials like flashcards, allowing them to flag areas where they’re unsure, even if they end up guessing correctly.
- Personalized study plans for courses that feature self-assessments, which organize all of the material into an intuitive step-by-step curriculum. Users can choose from a standard study plan or the adaptive study plan, which organizes the content based on the learner’s individual strengths and weaknesses. For both types of plans, learners get up-to-the-minute progress data and predictive scoring on the exam, if applicable, to help them succeed.
- Practice questions give users a low-risk way to test their knowledge on specific concepts, receiving objective feedback and incentives for achievement that help drive learner engagement. Questions don’t have a time limit, and users can reset questions as often as they need to build their confidence in certain areas.
- Tests mimic the scoring, timing, structure, and topic weighting of the actual exam, so learners can go into the big day feeling familiar and comfortable with the test conditions.
- Learning games make studying feel less like studying as learners prep for a big exam or absorb large amounts of information. Each course on the BenchPrep platform comes with baked-in gamification through leaderboards, badges, knowledge points, and several games in our Game Center.