During any type of teaching or training, it’s important for the instructor to understand whether participants are comprehending and assimilating the information being provided.
The process of gauging a learner’s understanding of course material is referred to in education parlance as “assessment for learning,” and covers any process an instructor would use to determine how well trainees are absorbing what’s being taught.
There are a variety of techniques trainers can use to assess for learning in their own presentations and training programs. One of the most commonly implemented is the strategic use of questions. Through this technique, an instructor determines their audience’s level of understanding to find out what trainees know, understand and able to do.
A natural follow up to strategic questioning is effective teacher feedback, which focuses on set parameters for success, then lets the trainees know how well they have performed and where they need to improve. Included in the feedback should be specific suggestions how to make those improvements.
Audience response technology provides excellent opportunities for trainers to utilize these techniques in even the largest classroom settings.
Large seminars, under ordinary circumstances, make questioning the participants for purposes of assessment inconvenient and sometimes – in very large sessions – nearly impossible. By integrating the ability to ask a question of the audience, then receive instant answers via an instant electronic response, the presenter can immediately see and display results to those in attendance.
The same process can be used at the end of a seminar to assess how much trainees have learned. Trainers can easily incorporate end-of-seminar quizzes into their programs, with members of the group answering via their audience response devices. The results allow the instructor to provide an after-class assessment, as well as areas in which an individual might need to improve.
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