Programmatic assessment as an engine for growth and development

Remember the tension and stress surrounding exams? Those trembling hands, that dry mouth. That no longer has to be the case. Assessment does not have to generate anxiety but can actually act as an engine for growth and development. The critical question, however, is: how do we realize this? Can programmatic assessment be the answer?

The disadvantage of isolated moments of evaluation

Traditional assessment and examination methods are often in question. Take the paradigm of brief, isolated assessment moments. Such snapshots provide only a fragmentary view of a candidate’s actual competencies, while the impact on their professional career can be enormous. Are sixty minutes of assessment sufficient to predict a professional’s future success? That seems an unlikely task.

An alternative approach: programmatic assessment

There is an alternative that has received increasing attention in recent years: programmatic assessment (testing). This method is not only about knowledge transfer but also about the growth, development, and self-awareness of the candidate.

What does programmatic assessment entail?

Programmatic testing involves tracking the candidate over a period of time and charting their progress. It emphasizes feedback and learning rather than just a final assessment. In addition, it helps a candidate direct their learning.

Tips for implementation

Implementing programmatic testing can present some challenges. Keep these tips in mind.

  1. Make clear agreements about requirements and measurement times. Candidates must understand that this method does not require them to be “always alert”.
  2. Supervise candidates carefully as they learn and gather information about their learning outcomes. Discuss interim outcomes to promote learning. Providing feedback and creating a safe learning environment is essential here.
  3. Separating roles is essential as in traditional assessment. The candidate must know who is assessing them and who is guiding them in their learning.

The complexities and challenges

While programmatic testing has great potential to change how we learn (and test), it also comes with several challenges. First, it is time-consuming for both candidates and supervisors, as they are constantly engaged in the cycle of giving and receiving feedback. In addition, implementing this way of testing is challenging; it requires substantial adjustments to the traditional way of testing. Finally, programmatic testing creates an enormous amount of data. To understand and use all this information correctly, it is vital that you can handle data analysis well.


Stimulate growth and development

Would you like to know more about the possibilities of (programmatic) assessment via digital assessment software, and are you curious about how we can realize this together? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!