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How to assess employees' collaborative activities

Proposing activities to employees that require collaboration is one way to assess interpersonal skills. eLearning makes it possible to optimize interaction

Employee training is one of the keys to a company's success. Dynamic and competitive organizations take care of the internal wealth of skills and knowledge, planning and indulging the growth paths of employees. For this purpose, technology is a valuable ally and eLearning a tool that is as flexible as it is powerful for ensuring learning. So powerful, in fact, that among the ways in which learning materials can be used are collaborative activities with other learners.

In addition to learning the expected concepts, collaborative activities enable the development of soft skills such as collaboration, problem solving and creativity. From the perspective of human resource managers, collaborative learning allows them to assess the behavior of employees as a whole: from the ability to learn, to team spirit; from proactive problem-solving attitudes and management of available human resources; from the ability to cope with, resolve and avoid conflict, to contribution to morale and team fellowship.

Appropriate implementation of collaborative activities within the framework of eLearning resources makes it possible to optimize both learning and evaluation, to the benefit of the enterprise and employees.

Importance of employee evaluation 

Employee evaluation plays a critically important role for a company. Through a well-structured evaluation process, organizations are able to measure the skills and performance of their employees, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and plan targeted development interventions.

This practice is so important that there is no single method of evaluation. Even for the precise purpose of assessing learning skills and training, an employee can be measured by different criteria. First, it is possible to measure the outcome of tests offered during the course. Partial tests and final tests are used to get a response on the notions acquired. eLearning is the ideal tool for this purpose: the system is able to manage data and metadata related to the course modules; record attendance and the level of participation of attendees; and calculate scores on tests.

But simple answers to quizzes and questionnaires may not fully capture the employee's progress, nor assess his or her ability to put knowledge and knowledge gained into practice. The evaluator could then suggest that employees take part in scenarios, in which they are led to immerse themselves in typical situations: from emergencies, requiring them to practice notions of workplace safety and first response, to business cases, requiring them to practice managerial aptitudes to formalize the problem to be solved; from best practices in customer service, to negotiation and interpersonal communication techniques. Scenario-based learning, and the resulting evaluation, can help understand the decision-making ability of examinees.

A more dynamic approach is learning through working together on actual projects. Learning on projects is the right medium in the evaluation on competencies and outcomes. The project appointee is called upon to implement a range of competencies throughout all phases of the project; the evaluator has a way of observing both behavior and decisions, as well as any creative solutions and results achieved. A project can then be defined along the lines of what the employee's role and duties might be after training.

Benefits of collaborative activities in employee evaluation

The methods presented above apply basically to the individual employee. They can extend to the group as limited to observing the individual's performance.

Another approach is to subject employees to collaborative activities. The focus of collaborative activity-based assessment is to observe the interactions between individuals. The basic idea is that in the group, individuals can create a synergy in which different skills are balanced and character predispositions can emerge. When the group finds its own functional dynamic, its members are able to challenge toghether the assigned tasks and work to correct any mistakes or shortcomings of their own or others quickly. In a cohesive, collaborative group, the sum is greater than the parts. The main benefits of training on collaborative activities are:

  • The improvement of interaction and communication
  • The stimulation of active learning
  • The promotion of teamwork and soft skills

Collaborative activities require interaction and communication among participants. This stimulates the exchange of ideas, discussion and sharing of knowledge. In the evaluation of employees, this results in a better understanding of communication skills, the ability to work as a team, and the ability to present ideas clearly and convincingly. In addition, interaction fosters the development of social and interpersonal skills, which are essential for success in the work environment.

Collaborative activities in eLearning require active involvement of participants. Rather than being mere recipients of content, employees are required to actively participate, solve problems, make decisions, and apply the knowledge gained. This promotes active learning, which is known to be more effective in consolidating skills and encouraging their transfer to real-world situations.

In addition, collaborative activities require participants to work together as part of a team. This promotes the development of collaboration, negotiation, leadership and conflict management skills. When evaluating employees, collaborative activities allow for the assessment of these soft skills that are increasingly in demand in today's work environment. Working in teams can encourage diversity of viewpoints and foster innovation and creativity.

Using collaborative activities in eLearning to assess employees offers a more dynamic and effective approach than traditional assessment methods. Not only does it allow the assessment of technical and cognitive skills, but it also fosters the development of soft skills, promoting more meaningful and long-lasting learning. In the next section, we will explore some of the types of collaborative activities that can be used in employee evaluation.

Examples of collaborative activities for employee evaluation 

There are several types of collaborative activities that can be implemented to achieve an accurate and engaging evaluation:

  • Group projects
  • Online discussions and forums
  • Simulations and role play

Group projects provide an opportunity for employees to work together to achieve a common goal. This type of collaborative activity can be used in employee evaluation to assess teamwork skills, communication, project management, and group problem-solving skills. Group projects may include creating presentations, developing projects or solving case studies. Assessment can be based on accomplishments, but also on active participation and individual contribution to teamwork.

Online discussions and forums provide a virtual environment where employees can share ideas, solve problems and participate in debates. This type of collaborative activity can be used in employee evaluations to assess communication skills, active listening skills, and the ability to present viewpoints in a clear and argued manner. Instructors or evaluators can monitor and evaluate individual participation and contributions in online discussions, assessing the quality of responses, ability to synthesize ideas, and interaction with other participants.

Simulations and role plays allow employees to take on specific roles and perform activities that recreate real or complex situations. This type of collaborative activity is particularly effective for assessing practical and soft skills, such as problem solving, negotiation, handling stressful situations, or decision making. Through simulations, employees can practice the skills they have learned and show their ability to apply them in realistic contexts. Evaluations can be based on performance during simulations and the results obtained.

Implementation of collaborative activities in employee evaluation

To achieve effective results in employee evaluation through collaborative activities in eLearning, it is essential to follow a well-structured implementation process.

Before starting collaborative activities, evaluation goals should be clearly defined. These goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Identify the key competencies and skills you want to assess, as well as the assessment criteria to be used. This will help guide the design of collaborative activities and ensure that the assessment is centered on aspects relevant to the employees' role or development goal.

Creating stimulating and engaging activities is essential to maximizing the effectiveness of collaborative activities in employee evaluation. Activities should be designed to encourage employee interaction, collaboration, and active participation. Use appropriate tools and technologies, such as online learning platforms and virtual collaboration tools, to facilitate communication and teamwork. Incorporate gamification elements, such as scores, rewards or challenges, to make activities more engaging and motivating. Also, consider using realistic scenarios or complex problems to test employees' skills.

Evaluation and feedback are key parts of employee assessment through collaborative activities in eLearning. Use clear and objective evaluation criteria to assess employee performance in collaborative activities. These criteria should be aligned with previously defined evaluation objectives. Provide timely, detailed and constructive feedback to employees, highlighting strengths and areas where they can improve. Feedback can be provided by both appraisers and colleagues, promoting a culture of mutual and continuous learning. Ensure that the evaluation and feedback process is transparent and fair, guaranteeing the privacy and confidentiality of employee data.

Following a judicious implementation of collaborative activities in employee evaluation can maximize the effectiveness and impact of these activities in eLearning. The structured and well-defined approach will ensure an accurate assessment of employee competencies as well as a meaningful and engaging learning experience. In the next section, we will examine the benefits of collaborative activities in employee assessment.

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