Assessing Knowledge, Skills, Behavior, and Attitude

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Assessing Knowledge, Skills, Behavior, and Attitude

Assessing Knowledge, Skills, Behavior, and Attitude

Instructional design ultimately seeks to bring about change in knowledge, skills, behavior, or attitude. In our business writing class, we wanted students to improve their writing skills, which would be a change in knowledge and skills.

How to Conduct Evaluations

The purpose of evaluations is to determine the level of success of the learner, that is, have instructional goals and objectives been met? Two criteria for determining this are validity and reliability.

When designing evaluations, the ID should attempt to ensure that the evaluations are valid. A valid evaluation is one that allows the ID to determine if learners met the objectives. They should also be reliable. A reliable evaluation is one that, if administered at different times to the same learner, would produce the same results.


So what tools does an instructional designer need to assess these changes?

  • Question-based Tests: Used for measuring knowledge and skills obtained. For example, if you created a course on the basic features of PowerPoint, you might evaluate learner skills and knowledge using a 20-question test on the topics that were covered.
  • Observation: Used for measuring attitude change and behavior. If the course was on motivating employees as a manager, to evaluate this, the learner could be observed in interactions with employees.
  • Direct testing: Used when specific skills need to be evaluated. For example, in a course on creating a sales spreadsheet, learners may create an actual spreadsheet for the evaluation.