Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2021 March

Consider a Pre-Program Assessment

Brent Jackson, M.Ed., LMT, a well-known massage education expert, recommends assessing students’ prior knowledge before they begin an entry-level program. This allows instructors to understand average learner gaps for a certain group of students. Understanding prior knowledge is essential to helping our students learn. Jackson says, “This isn’t an entry exam, it is to gage how big of a learning gap exists for students entering a learning program. Sort of a “what am I working with?” for instructors and admins. It’s common in other professions.”

Not only does he recommend administering a pre-program assessment, he has developed one and shared it with the massage education community! Thank you, Brent! Click the link below to download the PDF.

He offers this foreword to the student:

This assessment should be given prior to any instructional interventions. The assessment is not designed to be a program entrance exam and, most importantly, not designed to be a final examination. The assessment is not meant to be used to yield scores to be included in a final grade tabulation for any course. This assessment does not in any way count against you. The assessment simply aids in identifying previous knowledge. Answer each question with your best guess. Your massage therapy program’s curriculum will extend far beyond the breadth of this assessment. This particular assessment contains no massage therapy techniques. You will learn many concepts more difficult than content included in this assessment. Think of the assessment as trying to locate where you are beginning on a map.


Pre-Training Assessment