Page 10: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (December 2022)

Great Ships of 2022

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Training Tips for Ships

Tip #42

Testing ...

What’s the Point?

Copyright lamaip/AdobeStock e talk a lot about assessment and how to get it They do not.

right. But in order to make good decisions about The critical point here is that testing can never comprehen-

Wtesting, we have to understand why we test in the sively assess all knowledge required in a role or the ability ? rst place - and the answer is not what most people think. This to perform a skill under all potential conditions. It can test is a problem because knowing the answer is critical to design- whether some knowledge is known, or if a skill can be per- ing an effective training and assessment program. It informs formed under speci? c and limited conditions. But it can never all aspects of testing from the length and makeup of tests to assess the full breadth of knowledge or competencies required what we test, how we test, when we test, and whether a test by a worker. This means that it is not possible for a test to tell needs to be proctored. us whether someone is fully competent!

When asked why we test trainees, most will provide an Given the above, then what is the point of testing? The goal answer along the lines of “to see if they know the required of testing is much like the goal of a ? nancial audit. In a ? - knowledge / can perform the desired skill”. This is a mislead- nancial audit, we understand that due to time and resource ing answer, and it leads us to false conclusions about how we constraints, we can only ever examine a small fraction of ac- should test. It leads us to conclude that if someone masters counts or transactions. Testing of trainees is an audit process a test, they are fully competent - possessing all the required of sorts, where instead of testing everything, we test only a knowledge and skills. This is wrong and we need to stop subset or a sampling of the knowledge and skills the trainee thinking of assessments as providing this kind of information. requires. We then extrapolate from the results of that sample 10 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • December 2022

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.