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Designing Web-Based Training: How to Teach Anyone Anything Anywhere Anytime by William Horton

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7.4. EXPLAIN THE TEST

One of the most common complaints about tests is that the rules were unclear or that the procedures were not explained fully. If learners do not understand the "rules" of a test, they may not score well and will blame the creator of the test. Taking tests on the computer may be a new experience for many. The novelty, mixed with equal parts of anxiety and ignorance, can lead to a lot of silly mistakes. Take the time to tell learners how to take the test.

7.4.1. Explain tests thoroughly

Learners are curious beings, especially when it comes to tests. They want to know all the rules and regulations and restrictions—before they begin the test. But no one wants to read a bunch of boring rules. So keep the rules as simple as possible, express them concisely, and encourage learners to know the rules before they begin the test.

Here is a comprehensive list of the kinds of questions learners ask.

  • Is the test graded? What effect will this test have on the overall grade? What is a passing grade? What grade should the learner achieve before going on to the next lesson?

  • What does the test cover? Just the current lesson? All lessons up to this point?

  • Is the test timed? How much time is available? What is the penalty for taking too much time?

  • When must the test be taken? Before a deadline? During a specific period? At a certain hour and day? Before advancing to the next lesson?

  • How long is the test? How many questions are on the test? (Especially important if the questions ...

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