What Most Trainers Get Wrong About Confidence-Based Testing (And How Intela Gets It Right)

Recently, we announced the addition of confidence-based testing to Intela’s growing list of learning activities. So, what is the purpose of confidence-based testing? Its purpose is NOT to make learners more confident, as many people may think (and some products claim to do). Its purpose is to make learners appropriately confident.

Confidence is a personality attribute. By the time someone is an adult it’s a pretty immutable part of who we are, though a good coach/manager/mentor can certainly help us feel more job confident.

And, it is true that we will become more confident in a subject as we learn more, but we don’t need a confidence-based test to tell us that.

Instead, the goal of confidence-based testing is to create accurate expressions of confidence in learners. It’s to help us, as trainers, identify which of our learners have mismatches between knowledge and confidence. And, to help our learners understand where they have these mismatches.

A confidence-based test should reward learners for being confident in what they know (and even not-confident in what they don’t know), but penalize them for being confident in what they don’t know.

To meet this goal any valid confidence-based testing program must provide measures of confidence accuracy, not merely measures of confidence.

Intela computes four measures of confidence and confidence accuracy. Each one of these metrics has a specific role in helping us move all our employees into the magic green quadrant:

Confidence Matrix

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