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Fun and games in online assessment

August 29, 2016
Sova Assessment

I spoke about the need to focus on delivering a more engaging online candidate experience in my first post last time out. This really does open up a number of possibilities for test developers and I’d like to talk about four of these developments in turn.

1. Refreshing proven assessment methods

I can’t overstate how important it is to create rich multimedia tests that are not only engaging but also tailored to the needs of the client and candidate. Sounds obvious, but there are many variables at play and it’s important to ensure that each candidate goes through a personal journey and that the organisation is represented in the best light. Importantly, assessments also need to work on mobile platforms – more on this next time.

2. Gamification and game-based formats

To enhance overall experience, boost participation rates and increase customer loyalty, you need to inject a fun element into the tests. A proven way of doing this is by integrating game mechanics and game design techniques that modify human behaviour and generate desired outcomes. Cost will of course be a consideration in creating and flexing content for different clients, but you need to think of the bigger picture and the lucrative Millennial market.

3. Real work simulations

Here we enter the realm of creating work scenarios that replicate aspects of the real world. Using digital simulations and avatars helps bring to life the organisation’s working environment. For example, you could have a simulation for managing and resolving a customer service situation, or one that assesses faults for engineers. While gamified assessments can still be highly engaging, the added realism and customisation may offer more relevance for the candidate.

4. Augmented and virtual reality

Basically an extension of immersive simulations, augmented reality (AR) adds virtual elements to the real world, while virtual reality (VR) is about recreating the real life setting digitally. While these technologies are making rapid leaps forward, they have had little use to date in assessment. However, they will help shape the new frontier in creating a highly engaging experience.

These are just some of the new elements and technologies that will no doubt play a significant part in developing online assessments. They can also be used to measure psychological dimensions such as learning, complex problem-solving and creativity. Lots of food for thought!

Next time I’ll be focusing on how we need to adapt our assessments for mobile devices. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave your comments below.

Dr. Alan Bourne is the Managing Director and founder of Sova Assessment Ltd.

Download: ‘The Future of Online Assessment’ white paper (PDF)

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