MODULE 2
Level of knowledge assimilation
This level evaluates what knowledge, skills and techniques learners have obtained. It is not simple: if a person does not want to implement new knowledge or does not know how to do it, training will not be effective. To evoke desire and understanding, one needs an insight — realisation through one's experience and analysis.
Here we use four tools.
Before-after knowledge test
It indicates the progress of knowledge on the topic — or its absence. Results will show that materials are too simple, too complicated or shallow. On the other hand, it can be the learner's level too high or low for the topic. Maybe everything is alright and knowledge level will grow.
Evaluating separate topics instead of course as a whole will demonstrate what knowledge it develops more. For example, there are four topics in a negotiations course: Negotiation Positions, Negotiation Techniques, Negotiation in Management, and Negotiation in Sales. The test has shown that knowledge on the topic of Negotiation Positions has grown threefold. It can be a feature of the course or other topics should be upgraded to match it.
Progress evaluation based on testing results
It shows whether the number of mistakes decreases in the course of training. As a result, it is clear what topics are assimilated quicker. However, it is impossible to consider all factors that affect learners during testing or know for sure that they are not cheating — so, we should be careful with evaluation.
For example, the final test is usually harder than intermediate ones, and it is not a surprise that there are more mistakes. If the number of mistakes was decreasing with every test, everything goes well.
Link between repeated study of materials and test results
It shows which topics learners have to read two-three-four times to better their test results. Solutions: more detailed explanations or change of structure, so that complex things would be presented from different angles.
For example, the analysis indicates that learners study materials 6 times to improve their grades twofold. This means that the topic has a great potential but the delivery is challenging. Learners are wading through it.
Link between the duration of studying and the results
This is similar to the previous tool, but here we evaluate how much time the productive and nonproductive learners spend on one material. As a result, we can determine the optimal time for each and, if necessary, adjust the information load.
For example, a productive learner spends six minutes on the topic Negotiation in Management, and a non-productive learner spends two minutes. It might mean that the topic is dropped because it is difficult, or not studied carefully enough. Then we should motivate the learner to work with it more.
Knowledge testing is more than tests after each topic
Tests seem to be the easiest way to evaluate the effectiveness of learning, but it is an illusion. The problem can be not only in the level of knowledge or diligence, but also in the course design.

Tools from this module will help you to look at assimilation of knowledge from different perspectives.