5 Practical and skills tests
HR guide name: oral (M or mondeling), presentative (P), skills test (VH or vaardighedentoets) and Performance Assessment.
In this test format, students demonstrate their skills. There are various forms of skills tests, such as: conducting complex interviews, walking through various actions consecutively/simultaneously, but also presentations, interview techniques and role plays such as job interviews and bad news conversations. Normally students demonstrate these skills in person, but there are online alternatives.
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What skills are being tested?
The enormous range of skills makes it difficult to create a useful overview. Tests are difficult to administer online when they require specific software/hardware, materials, resources or physical actions. There are tests that offer additional possibilities, such as conducting interviews or demonstrating certain actions. The study programmes are best suited to assess the appropriate options or solutions for administering their skills tests online.
One possibility is to share videos via My Mediasite. You will have your own ‘channel’, similar to Youtube, where you can indicate per video which groups can view the video (and whether it should be public or not).
The test format does not change substantially if you have to perform a test in front of a camera, with or without a live audience. The same things will be observed as in a face-to-face test, but keep in mind that facial expressions and body language don’t come across as well as in real life.
Useful tips & tricks
- Make sure that students don’t read out their presentation, so clearly state your expectations in advance. Specify what you want to see in the frame: just the PowerPoint and a head, or do you also want to see the body language. Do you just want to see the skill, or do you want the student to describe what they are doing and explain why... If necessary, you could record the presentation (with the knowledge/approval of the student) via Teams.
To demonstrate digital skills, you could use a combination of screen parts and video. The student can use a live video to demonstrate and justify why certain actions are performed. A protocol is used to conduct online assessments. Make sure that the protocol you use has been approved by the school’s exam board. The protocol under the button ‘Protocol for conducting an online assessment’ is an example.
Option 1: Live online test administration with interaction
It could be an option to administer a test live online. This option doesn’t change the content of the test, but the test is administered via a video call. This is suitable for tests that require interaction or where interaction is part of the assessment criteria. Think, for example, of presentations and conversation/interview skills. The flow and interaction are different, partly because facial expressions don’t come across as well. You may want to take this into account in the assessment. Live video calling is less appropriate when multiple people are involved in demonstrating skills or when multiple camera angles are required.
Option 2: Recording and submission
If no interaction is needed, students can record their skills. The advantage of this is that you don’t have to schedule appointments.
For most skills tests, a recording will be different. For example, students can record a video several times. On the other hand, skills such as presentation skills may not demonstrate as well without an audience. Will there be multiple assessors? Then decide in advance how you will deal with this.
A group presentation can be sent in parts by the presenters, or the group can submit an edited version of all the presentations. Otherwise, the same guidelines apply as during a live presentation. Students can submit the video via CumLaude (if the recording needs to be archived), in Class Team or OneDrive.
Option 3: Administer a similar test
There are tests that you cannot administer online because these require specific software and/or hardware, materials, resources or physical actions. If such a test is part of the graduation programme, look for possibilities to administer the test within the guidelines of the RIVM.
If similar learning objectives are tested elsewhere in the curriculum, you may consider integrating the test into another, second test. The advantage is that this will reduce testing pressure in the future.
- There are two options for this. In both cases the student obtains the credits for the original test if they pass the second test. The learning objectives of the test will be tested at a higher level in a second test later in the curriculum. This is the case if the student cannot pass the second test without mastering the learning objectives of the original test. As soon as this is possible again, offer the student exercises and formative testing so that the step to the second test does not become too big.
- The learning objectives of the course are partly tested later in the curriculum, or fit into another, second test. The test can then easily be expanded or modified. In that case, the test is integrated into the second test. In this case as well, students will require practice opportunities and formative testing, once these are available again, to properly prepare for the second test. The idea is not to administer two separate tests at once at a later time. If integration is only possible to a very limited extent, it is better to postpone the test (option 4).
Option 4: Postpone and administer later
Does the practical test meet the requirements of a crucial test? If yes, you postpone the test to a later time. Tests are defined as crucial when:
- irresponsible social risks arise if the student does not master the learning objectives;
- the learning objectives are important for the core of the profession and are not tested elsewhere in the curriculum.
This can be difficult for tests that are not part of the core of the profession and are not tested elsewhere in the curriculum. In that case, check again whether the learning objectives can be tested at least partially in another test.