Testing and evaluating trainees

Trainees should be assessed based on observations of practice in classroom and field settings. In addition, it is useful to consider giving short unannounced quizzes each day or at key points during the training. This helps trainees focus on what they have learned so far and helps trainers identify areas that need additional attention. The quizzes should be straightforward and focused on key content relevant to the trainee’s role. Five to eight questions should be enough. Marking and feedback should be done within 24 hours. A mix of written tests, oral questions and group discussion on varying days might be considered. Sometimes it is useful to have trainees swap tests and grade each other’s work, followed by a group discussion of the answers.

The criteria for selecting trainees should be objective and documented for each person. Having written tests and marked performance criteria for practical classes during the training can help survey staff document the reasons why certain trainees are or are not selected. It may also be helpful to administer a graded test at the end of the training. The score of the trainee can be taken into consideration when selecting the field teams. Final decisions on hiring fieldworkers should be based on a pre-determined overall evaluation of individual performance, including assessment of the trainees’ performance during class sessions, field practice, and test scores. Good interview techniques, a high level of skill in collecting and processing blood and a demonstrated ability to work as part of a team may be more important than high test scores.