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954 - Assessment Improvement, Machine Learning Futures, Sensible Shoes for Trainers

Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie - February 27, 2017.
#954 - Updates on Learning, Business & Technology.
57,604 Readers - - twitter: emasie - The MASIE Center. 

1. Assessment Confusion? Make it Challenging, Predictive & Data Rich!
2. Machine Learning and Your LMS?
3. Comfortable Shoes for Trainers and Presenters.

1. Assessment Confusion? Make it Challenging, Predictive & Data Rich!:  Let’s take a new look at our Assessment Traditions!  Based on conversations with learners, instructional designers, compliance coordinators, trainers and managers, there is a fair amount of Assessment Confusion in the learning world.  

Assessment serves many requirements.  It provides formative and summative feedback to the learning designers and trainers.  It can provide feedback and focus for a learner on their pathway to success.  And, it must keep the “compliance angels” happy with acceptable data results.

The MASIE Center is exploring new models for how we can supercharge and evolve assessments:

- Assessment as Challenging as a Video Game: Let the learner see the Assessment as an Engagement Challenge - with the probability that they will fail some elements on their way to success.  Let them take an eLearning program with the sense that they are making progress towards a much tougher assessment outcome and they are excited when they “pass”.
- Predictive Assessment: We can design short predictive questions or case studies that will accurately predict a learner’s readiness to do a task.  Rather than take an assessment that looks like a final exam in college, give the learner 5 queries that are laddered in difficulty and will be great predictors of success.
- Data Rich Assessment: Take a Big Learning Data approach to Assessment that gives both the learner and the learning designer a better sense of a person’s knowledge or gaps. Tie together the pattern of their responses to reveal that the gap to overcome is they don’t understand the concept of “X” rather than they got 4 answers wrong.  Run data rich assessment to baseline the value of multiple choice answers to avoid questions that are overall too easy or way too confusing.

Let’s go deep as a learning field to innovate on our Assessment models and to make them into valued and even exciting tools for both learners and designers.

2. Machine Learning and Your LMS?  Machine Learning is a growing and exploding field that may have deep impacts on how we design, deliver and personalize learning for our workforce.  Machine Learning is potentially applying an approach to design that will mirror the data rich personalization of Amazon on their shopping site.

We are pleased to announce that a special Machine Learning Forum will be added to our upcoming Learning Systems & Tools ‘17 event in Chicago on April 19th and 20th.  We will explore how some LMS and Learning Systems will add Machine Learning Capability, some will provide interfaces to Machine Learning Capability and others will be ignored in the Machine Learning evolution.  

And, we will do a Real vs. Hype vendor-neutral test of current uses of Machine Learning to enhance Workplace Learning.  Join us in Chicago.  Details:

3. Comfortable Shoes for Trainers and Presenters:  I wear very comfortable shoes or sneakers when I teach, facilitate or do a keynote speech. Folks will often ask me why I choose this footware.  In a nutshell, COMFORTABLE SHOES make the job of a classroom leader or presenter so much easier.  We are moving around project based classrooms much more than presenting from the front of the room at the whiteboard.  We want to be agile and nimble, to respond to learner activity and questions.  And, I want to feel like a learning athlete when in the facilitator role.  

While many of us cannot go as casual as sneakers in the more formal corporate learning areas, there are many shoes that look business-like and still have a bounce to them.  I would love to hear from Learning TRENDS readers about your own Comfortable Shoes for Days of Training or Presenting.  Send me a fun email to  (Of course, I do like sneakers that are orange or bright - but that is for another day’s column.)

Yours in Learning, 

Elliott Masie
Twitter: @emasie 

MASIE Center Seminars, Events and Services:

- Curation & Learning LAB - March 7-9, 2017 Saratoga Springs, NY. (3 Spots Left)
- Learning Systems & Tools ‘17 - April 19 & 20, Chicago, IL.
- Learning Innovations LAB - May 9-11, 2017 Saratoga Springs, NY.
- Membership in The Learning CONSORTIUM.
- Learning 2017- October 22 to 25- Orlando, Florida.

Details and Online Registration: