Observational assessments, in which an observer assesses a participant and rates his or her performance, make it possible to evaluate skills or abilities that are difficult to measure using “traditional” assessments. The ability to deliver observational assessments using mobile devices is opening up new possibilities in many different settings:
- Certifications: Observational assessment is often a key component of the certification process – in some cases required by regulatory authorities. For an example of this, see our recent case study, Covidien Delivers Product Knowledge Tests and Observational Assessments on the Apple iPad.
- Medical and dental schools – for examinations such as the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
- Equipment operation – for recording and rating operators’ skills, abilities, safety practices and adherence to required procedures.
- Customer service: Workplace assessments are used to evaluate the performance of retail sales and customer service staff and to determine where additional training is required.
- Driving tests: Examiners observe and rate license applicants on parking, observation, awareness and adherence to rules of the road.
- Performance or Level 3 assessment: Observing and monitoring behavioral changes in the workplace before and after training helps learning organizations evaluate how well participants apply what they have learned during training after they are back on the job.