Recently an Instructional Designer colleague mentioned that he hoped his audience didn’t get upset with him because he was going to “clear their previous answers” AFTER they failed the test AND BEFORE they retook it.
His primary concern was the learner’s reaction, not their level of understanding.
When an audit results in a fine levied on a company, could “soft” assessments be the cause? What responsibility does an Organization, Trainer, LOD Manager AND Trainee have in assuring training adequately assesses learner understanding?
Testing to competency should be an acceptable goal in compliance training. Failing to achieve a level of proficiency OR understanding can lead to some type of future loss.
When assessments are “too difficult” then the learner gets frustrated.
When learners take “too much time” in their training employers get upset with lost man hours.
As a result developers create distractors that are more effective at helping the student identify the correct answer rather than inviting thoughtful consideration. This pleases BOTH the employee AND the business owner. It accomplishes the goal of “faux” compliance.
When an Instructional Designer consciously undermines his own value, and the impact of the course, by “dumbing down” an exam, he performs a disservice to himself, his company, his audience AND his fellow designers.
It is ALWAYS better to allow an individual to fail – for the company AND the individual. The company gets to identify who needs help with concepts and the employee gets the help he needs to better understand concepts or processes. Anything less is like putting a band-aid over an irregularly shaped mole.
I think it might be time to retire the world “compliance”. It’s too soft. Compliance infers surrender.
Instead, how about if we decided to refer to it as partnership, brotherhood, cooperative or, even better, regulatory ownership training. These words indicate a shared personal interest in a common goal rather than concession, submission or consent.
We don’t need to put more teeth into regulatory training; we just need to do more than merely comply.