Training centres need to test their learners’ language levels, enabling them to create homogenous groups or to measure learner progress during training. The language test is an indispensable tool which needs to be reliable and easily managed in the long term.
Many organisations have considered developing their own test from A to Z, rather than using an existing test. The argument being, “It will be much cheaper to develop a tailor-made tool than to use an external provider”.
So, is this myth or reality?
Although the option of creating your own test may seem the best way forward, the advantages of external testing tools are appreciable for those who choose that path. Based on feedback from several professional linguists, here are the five advantages of outsourcing assessments.
1. Considerable time-saving
Unsurprisingly, as with all outsourcing, using a third party service saves your teams time. There is no need to update questions, manage problems linked to an imprecise assessment or correct individual digital or paper tests on a daily basis, all of which can be extremely time-consuming.
Online positioning tests now allow the assessment of a large number of participants at the same time. With ELAO, our testing platform, you obtain the results instantly and they can be exported into an Excel format with a simple click. This saves a great deal of time for managers and trainers, who can connect directly to the platform to manage all results with ease.
2. A reliable assessment
The ELAO test goes further than other tests by offering a more precise assessment than the CEFRL (see right-hand side of image)
The CEFRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) was created in 2001 by experts in the Council of Europe’s member states. This reference framework imposes very precise norms to be respected, so that everywhere in Europe language levels are assessed using a common scale.
Creating a “homemade” test that complies with those norms is a huge undertaking. Even more so when it needs to be updated regularly. By leaving this task to companies who specialise in this area, you guarantee your participants are faced with reliable tests which adhere fully to the European framework.
3. A pledge of quality and coherence
Whether your trainers are carrying out tests or they are solely correcting them, human error is never fully preventable. Fatigue, a moment of inattention or a slightly subjective evaluation: even if your team is following a precise method, assessment by a human-being always includes an element of subjectivity, a totally normal phenomenon. A trainer could be influenced subconsciously by a series of factors, including the participant’s personality (extravert or shy), their mood, the level of stress, etc.
By using an online test, you guarantee homogeneity and complete objectivity in the assessment of your learners’ levels. All tests are all taken in the same conditions and analysed identically.
4. Easier conversion of prospective clients
One of the biggest advantages (and the least known!) of a testing platform that takes place 100% online, and is outsourced, is the ease with which prospective clients can be converted. Thanks to a testing tool such as ELAO, you can offer a company the opportunity to test all their employees in just a few clicks. With those results, you are then able to map their language skills and create homogenous groups. By offering this global view of preconfigured groups to your prospective client, you significantly improve the chances of them accepting your offer.
This linguistic company audit is also of great benefit to Human Resources managers who can use the results to complete and enrich the individual career development plan for each of the employees.
5. No test handling issues
Internal tests can lead to a series of everyday issues. In the case of paper tests, the tests need to be printed, passed on to your trainers, and be properly corrected. With an online test on your own website, it is necessary, among other things, to manage IT errors, verify the data base, consolidate and sort the results obtained …
By outsourcing your language tests, you can benefit from total peace of mind, leaving someone else to manage all those issues!
The final advantage of ELAO: each environment is tailor-made, integrating your logo, your messages and your design universe.
In conclusion, an online assessment tool such as ELAO offers a number of advantages.
It allows you to:
- Save time related to test management (preparation and assessment).
- Guarantee reliable results.
- Ensure time coherence and provide consistently objective assessments.
- Not suffer from technical problems.
- Offer your clients a test prior to training, reinforcing their choice, and helping them make a decision on the services they need.
All this, while retaining your independence, as you are the one managing when tests are sent out and how results are handled.