The use of multimedia in assessments

The use of multimedia in assessments: added value or just a fun gadget?

The popularity of multimedia tools in keys is increasing. But does using multimedia such as video or audio clips in assessments actually add value? Or is it used primarily to keep up with the times and create “state of the art” keys?

The use of multimedia in testing

If you deploy multimedia only because an assessment has to be fun and modern, it misses the mark. In fact, there is another, more important reason to use multimedia in testing. A candidate wants to succeed and thus understand the tasks well. This is where the use of multimedia contributes directly.

Added value

With multimedia applications, you simply improve the quality of your assessment.. We explain this using three assessment quality criteria:

  • The assessment question is relevant (1) and recognizable;
  • The assessment question is efficient (2) and does not contain unnecessary ballast;
  • The assessment question is specific, focused AND objective (3), there is no discussion about the correct answer.

1. Multimedia and relevance of the assessment

Using pictures, sound clips and videos, you can easily increase the relevance of a test question. First, you force the author to create questions that come directly from professional practice. If a question is about a topic that hardly occurs in professional practice, it is most likely that no visual or audio material of this can be found or created either. In addition, visual and/or audio material provides recognition for the candidate. This contributes not only to the self-confidence of that candidate but at the same time to the image and thus acceptance of the test.

2. Multimedia and efficiency of the assessment

In terms of efficiency, the use of multimedia offers by far the greatest added value when it comes to quality assessment. This is especially true when using video material. Writing out a minute of video material yields at least an A4 of text. Waste of time! In addition, a candidate generally understands the question faster when a video is used instead of a written case study. That’s fine for everyone, but the added value is especially great for candidates who have trouble with hefty chunks of text. At least by using film clips, you can be sure that you are measuring actual understanding of subject content, not reading comprehension!

3. Multimedia and specificity / objectivity of the assessment

Assessment questions are frequently introduced by a situation description in the form of a case study. If you want to be complete and comprehensive when writing such a case, it is almost impossible not to give away (part of) the essence. In fact, you have to be very specific in providing information. Suppose you are testing whether a candidate understands what goes wrong in an interview. In that case, it is very difficult to describe a situation in such a way that it is clear what mistake is being made in a conversation without being explicit. Anything you explain can be a clue to the right answer. The reverse is sometimes true, by the way. By remaining vague, there is a risk that the question could be multi-interpretable, leading to discussion about the correct answer. The question in that is no longer objective.

The benefits of using multimedia in tests

In summary and “freely” translated, there are about six advantages to using multimedia in digital assessment:

  • Professional practice is incorporated into the question;
  • The situation is recognizable to the candidate;
  • Little explanation is needed, after all, a picture says more than 1,000 words;
  • Seeing or hearing, rather than reading comprehension;
  • No unintentional references to the correct answer;
  • Assurance of objectivity.

Conclusion – when do you apply multimedia in testing?

Given the number of benefits, if the software allows it, it is a good idea to incorporate multimedia into your keys. This becomes especially important if you want to explain a rich occupational context and don’t want to risk inadvertently giving away the right answer by giving too much explanation. The importance of multimedia testing is even greater for candidates who have difficulty with reading comprehension. In conclusion, then, multimedia offers absolute added value, provided the applications are used with the candidate in mind.


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