Creating a visually engaging competency assessment tool

New Zealand Blood Service

Creating a visually engaging competency assessment tool

From good to great

New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) has taken its blood competency assessment tool to a new level. We used our favourite authoring tool, Articulate Storyline, in a way we’ve rarely used it before: as a stand-alone assessment tool.

Starting with an excellent database of NZBS questions, we developed an interactive assessment that engages the user. NZBS will be rolling this assessment tool across all Health New Zealand sites.

Right tool for the job

Most of our projects involve creating learning experiences to teach something new. This one is a bit different: the audience already has the knowledge, and it needs to be assessed. The new assessment is a richer way for NZBS to assess new staff and refresh the existing highly skilled practicing doctors, midwives, and nurses.

Like-Minded worked with NZBS to take the old assessment and elevate it a new level using the authoring tool Articulate Storyline. The combination of Articulate Storyline with the learning management systems that deploy it, achieves multiple benefits. As well as assessing users, it automatically marks the assessments, reducing the workload for NZBS assessors.

Breaking the learning into manageable chunks and ensuring it was deliverable on a range of devices gave the students flexibility in how and where they accessed the core learning. They can work through complete concepts in short timeframes and monitor their progress. Fitting in with the audience’s lifestyle was the key to a successful transition to online learning, and it provided students with a robust experience—much the same as traditional classroom training would have done.

All fun and games

The process of assessment shouldn’t be a burden on anyone and using an interactive assessment tool makes the process more bearable, maybe even fun. NZBS’ pre-existing document contained around 100 questions which ticked all the technical assessment boxes, but the presentation required a bit of TLC. In Articulate Storyline, we used graphics to make the multi-choice, multi-response questions, and slider interactions more exciting. 

Our learning technologist used question banks to randomize the assessment. It selects a different 20 questions for each attempt at the assessment, but with a specific number of questions from each category to ensure coverage of all of the core content. This means NZBS can assess competency, without overwhelming the user. 

Bringing assessment to life

Articulate Storyline is one of the most powerful authoring tools we use, and how we can use it is only limited by the scope of the developer’s imagination—and perhaps by the budget, of course! We revel in projects that stimulate our imagination and love being turned loose on Articulate Storyline.

We brought the questions to life, for an experience that is more interesting and effective than basic multi-choice questions on plain screens. The assessment tool also uses real-world scenarios that doctors, nurses and midwives regularly encounter. The combination of imagery, wording and interaction appeals to users and gets better results by integrating with more learning styles.  

Pushing Articulate 360 outside of the box

We really enjoyed working in Articulate Storyline for this interactive project, using this powerful tool to achieve a different type of goal. With this in mind, we are looking for new and cost-effective ways to incorporate Articulate Storyline in more of our future projects to achieve completely new outcomes.

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