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Assessment is the process by which you and the class judge their existing knowledge and also their increased skills and awareness of the training subject matter as a result of the course.

Pre-training assessment

It can be useful (but not always possible) to have participants fill out a questionnaire prior to training which will give you as the trainer some background information on the class’ knowledge and experience in the field. This can also be helpful for participants in beginning to prepare for the training.

The kind of questions to ask are:

  1. Name
  2. Grade
  3. Current job
  4. General responsibilities
  5. How long in Records/Archives Management
  6. Qualifications
  7. Details of previous training courses attended
  8. Why they are attending this training
  9. What they hope to gain from this training
  10. Any other comments

Participant self-assessment

Another useful form of assessment is participant self-assessment. This can be done in a variety of ways. You might provide a more general questionnaire for participants to assess how much they know about given topics to be tackled during the training. You can leave space for them to return to it after the training and rate their increased knowledge. Another approach is to begin the training with a set of questions or a quiz, allowing the class time to answer the questions or examine the problems set. You can then go through it when they have completed it and they can assess for themselves what they knew before and after.

Feedback on class exercises

During the course of the training it is likely that you will set the class some tasks to work on on their own or in groups. It is very important that when the class reports back the trainer gives considered and useful feedback. The participants have spent time on the activity, may have been uncertain as to their ability to tackle the problem and will be looking for reassurance, and tips for improvement from the trainer. Usually the class will feed back orally, if they are in groups each group will have chosen a spokesperson. They may or may not provide a visual aid such as a flipchart sheet. When listening to the presentation look for the following:

When the presentation is over, you might ask the class to give their views before adding your own comments. It is extremely rare that you will find nothing to say and you should try to spend an equal amount of time commenting on all presentations.

Assessment by trainers

Although formal assessment is rare in the kind of training addressed in this Pack, it may occasionally be necessary to give detailed assessment on individual participants. If the assessment is for every participant as part of an accredited course, you should follow any guidelines given by the parent institution. In general it is advisable to develop some sort of marking schema for written work or oral presentations and to read through or listen to and assess each piece of work according to the same criteria. If the assessment is more informal, be honest in your comments — note where the work is good and suggest improvement where it is weak or there are gaps.

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Last updated: 20 December 2005