Make Staff Training Stick

By on Nov 18, 2019 in Technology

One of the best ways to maximize a training budget is to avoid repeat instruction. When staff learns materials the first time, property managers avoid redundant training costs and quickly enjoy the benefits of properly trained staff.

Did you know that assessments play a big part in making sure knowledge is properly absorbed?

Assessments are most easily described as the quizzes and tests that pop up during a training session. They aren’t there just to make learners sweat a little bit before wrapping up a course. The real purpose of those tests (more specifically referred to as assessments) is to make sure learners have absorbed the material being taught.

When properly written, an assessment can document that a student has gained some knowledge and strategically determine which concepts need to be reinforced before the course can be completed.

Here are some tips to consider for your course assessments.

  1. Identify the true purpose of the assessment.

Before writing test questions, ask yourself what exactly you want to measure with the assessment. Keep all questions focused on that goal. If you include anything else in an assessment, no matter how benign, you may wind up with extraneous, perhaps conflictive data that is not useful in measuring how well the course taught the material.

  1. Make sure questions ask about the core learning objectives.

Including fun, obscure information during training can be a good way to make training interesting. Just be sure to leave those fun facts out of your post-class assessment. You want to know that learners are acquiring critical knowledge, not the extra stuff that a course may cover.

  1. It’s okay to have difficult questions, just don’t make them tricky.

Assessments should make students think, but shouldn’t be at all devious or crafty. Trick questions are more likely to be misunderstand than genuinely answered incorrectly. That can lead to false conclusions about what course content needs to be reinforced.

  1. Make multiple choice options consistent in length, tone and detail.

Answer options that are overly long or short look out of place to learners. Those multiple choice options are often rejected or perhaps selected only because of how different they are from other choices. That type of guesswork (based on how answer choices look) can provide misleading information to training administrators.

  1. Avoid negative questions.

Negative questions tend to be confusing. It’s likely that students get them wrong simply because they don’t understand what the question is actually asking. Again, that false data doesn’t measure how well they’ve learned the material and does not provide useful information for trainers.

  1. Make incorrect answer choices plausible.

Don’t write nonsense options that clearly show the student the correct answer. Instead, choose incorrect answer options that are common misconceptions, frequent performance errors, and statements which are true but do not satisfy the requirements of the question. Including these types of incorrect answers is a good way to make sure learners are paying attention to the question being asked and to correct misinformation that may have spread across your organization.

  1. Avoid “all of the above” and “none of the above” options.

Including these types of answer options in multiple choice lists can prove misleading when determining if a learner really knows the correct answer. More often than not, students are guessing when they see this on the list. Instead, use “select all that apply”.

  1. Avoid true/false questions.

This type of question gives the student a 50% chance of choosing the correct answer simply by guessing. Again, guesses do not generate the type of data that make assessments useful in refining staff training, and don’t always prove that knowledge has been gained.

  1. Get creative with test types.

Yardi eLearning clients have many types of assessment tools at their disposal. Course assessments go far beyond lists of multiple choice questions. Yardi eLearning courses present learners with graphically designed questions that use radio buttons, check lists, fill-in-the-blank formats, linking, matching, sorting and more.

See how Yardi eLearning uses assessments to improve knowledge retention during staff training by visiting for more information and to schedule a demonstration.