Training Assessment: 3 “On-the-Way” Tools

Last week, I joined the ASTD Baton Rouge chapter to share a quick icebreaker on  4MAT Learning Styles in their “Show Not Tell” conference. Fellow speaker, Kent Blumberg, showed us how to assess the learning transfer before the learning is complete. This is referred to as “formative” assessment. In our 4MAT Train the Trainer programs, we call this “On the Way” assessment. On-the-way assessment is in-the-moment and provides the trainer with an opportunity to adjust, as needed.  Here are four easy-to-use  ideas shared by Kent:

One Minute Paper

Provide participants with an index card. In one minute, answer the following two questions related to the content shared:

“What’s the most important idea shared?”

“What questions do you still have?”

The feedback shared allows the trainer to assess if the big ideas are clear. The questions shared can be divided into two categories: “moving forward” or “moving backwards”. Moving forward questions indicate that the learner is thinking about what’s coming next in the learning process. For example, “How can I apply this to….” is a moving forward question and a good sign that the learning is on track. Moving backwards questions indicate that the learner needs to revisit content previously shared. For example, “Can you explain what you mean by ….?” is a moving backward question that indicates content needs to be revisited.

Application Cards

Provide participants with an index card. Encourage participants to write down two ideas for implementation of the content shared. Ask participants to partner up and share their application ideas.


At the end of a  learning module within a larger course offering, you can use RSQC2*. Encourage participants to complete the following reflections:

Recall:  Brainstorm key words or phrases of what you recall from this course. Choose three to five main points,

Summarize:  Using as many of these 3-5 points, write a summary sentence that describes the essence of what you learned.

Question:  Jot down one or two questions that remain unanswered, at this point.

Connect:   Explain in one or two sentences the connections between the main points today and the overall objectives of the course.

Comment:  What I enjoyed most (or least) about this session was….

Please share strategies you use to assess learning “on-the-way” in the comments below.

*Kent Blumberg shared the following source for this exercise:

Angelo, T.A & Cross, K.P. (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques. (2nd ed., pp. 344-348). San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

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