Filed under: Usability
Workplace assessment uses a variety of techniques to determine the competence of a staffperson, looking at areas such as: skills, knowledge, interraction with the environment and other systems.
Usability testing uses a variety of techniques to determine how the staffperson interracts with their environment and other systems, to identify deficiences in these systems.
Knowledge management uses a variety of techniques to identify areas where more knowledge is required, or processes are lacking. (Amongst other goals, of course.)
Interestingly, they all use very similar techniques. It’s just the goal of the activity which is different.
For example, the course I recently did outined a number of different workplace assessment techniques:
- workplace observations
- simulations / roleplays
- oral questioning
- written questioning
- portfolio of evidence
Does this sound familiar to the usability people amongst us? While the terms may be a little different, this is exactly the range of options used for usability testing.
In fact, the more I look at it, there greater the overlap is between training, assessment, usability testing and knowledge management.
If nothing else, this suggests that workplace assessment can combine together several goals in the one activity:
- Assessing the skills and knowledge of the candidate
- Identifying usability problems with the systems they are using
- Identifying knowledge gaps, and process problems
In training terms, this is known as holistic assessment, and is very much encouraged. (In other words, getting the best “bang for your buck”.)