When taking courses online, it’s important to test your understanding of the course material along the way. This exercise helps validate your progress and your understanding of the key concepts so you can make adjustments as needed to ensure a complete understand of the topic matter. This is critical in online learning.
Providing this type of “self-testing” feature has been one of the most common feature requests from Pluralsight customers over the past few years. As a result, we’ve been working hard to design and develop our new course assessment experience. This feature is now available to all Plus subscribers (as of a few weeks ago).
The following sections explain how this new experience works.
Plus subscribers can now test their knowledge of the course material both before and after watching the course videos by taking an “assessment”. An assessment is simply a timed test that validates the user’s understanding of the main course concepts.
You access this feature via the “Assessment” tab that you’ll find on any course page in the Pluralsight training library. If a user has watched 25% or less of a given course, she will be offered to take a “pre-assessment”. If a user has watched more than 25% of the videos, he’ll be offered to take a “post-assessment”.
Pre- vs. Post-Assessments
A pre-assessment gives users a chance to measure whether they already know the material contained in a particular course before actually investing the time to watch the course videos. This is our online way of “testing out” of a particular course.
Users qualify to take a pre-assessment for a course as long as they haven’t watched more than 25% of the course videos. Once they watch more than 25% of the videos, they’ll be offered to take a post-assessment instead. Ideally users will take the pre-assessment before watching a course and then the post-assessment after they’re done so we can measure their progress and learning results. However, this is not a requirement. Users can choose to take pre- and/or post-assessments or no assessments at all.
By offering both pre- and post-assessments, we’re able to identify and track a user’s improvement over time and how much they’ve learned during that time. We can also tell how many courses a particular user has passed with or without watching courses. Both companies and individuals can use this new capability to perform a basic level of skill-assessment across our entire library of supported technologies.
Within corporate environments, we now have a way to track how many employees are actually watching and, more importantly, understanding the courses they have access to in our library. We surface this information to training managers through several new corporate reports that show assessment results by course or user.
You can then inspect individual user transcripts to see their activity, their number of attempts, and their improvement score after finishing and passing a course.
Once a user passes a course assessment, she can print an official course certificate to share with others. The course will also appear on the user’s official Pluralsight transcript that can be printed and shared with others when needed.
In order to “pass” a course, you must achieve a score of 70% or higher on the course assessment. Once you do, you can print an official course certificate like the one shown here.
You can save the generated certificate as a PDF so you can email it to your manager, post it on your Facebook profile, or you can simply print it for your personal records.
Plus subscribers also have an official Pluralsight transcript that shows all of the courses they’ve passed. The highest score for each course is what shows up on the transcript.
They can also see the courses they’re working on (e.g., courses they haven’t passed), although these aren’t part of the official transcript report.
Plus subscribers can access their transcript by clicking on “Your transcript” in the user profile menu (upper right corner). The transcript shows how many times a user has taken a particular assessment and provides easy links for “re-taking” an assessment and viewing certificates.
In order to ensure that assessment results have meaning, there are limits on how many assessments you can take for a particular course in a given time period. For any given course, you can take a single pre-assessment (assuming you’ve not watched more than 25% of the content), so you only have one chance to “test-out” of a course.
You can take up to two post-assessments for any given course immediately. The questions may be different on each assessment, so don’t assume you’ll see the same questions each time. After the first two post-assessments, we will offer additional retries, but there will be a 30-day cooldown before each one becomes available.
Once you pass an assessment (70% score or greater), you’ll continue to have the ability to retake it until you score 100%, after which we won’t offer any further assessments for that course (congratulations, you aced it!)
Try Assessments Today!
We hope you’ll take a minute to check out these new features and send us your feedback. If you don’t have a Plus subscription, you can sign-up for our free 10-day Monthly Plus trial, which will give you a chance to experiment with everything described above.