Employability Skills Framework
Step 3 of 5

Assessment Comparison Worksheet

Step 3: Select Practical Considerations

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Administering an assessment involves human and technology resources and time. Key considerations include how the assessment will be administered (i.e., orally, on paper, or by computer), how long an assessment takes to administer, where it will be administered, how often it will be administered, and who will administer it. Other factors include the availability, clarity, and detail of materials for administration and scoring procedures and the level of training or certification required for assessment administrators.
Administration

  How is the assessment administered (i.e., orally, on paper, or by computer)?

  How long does it take to administer the assessment?

  Is it administered individually or as a group?

  Is training and/or certification required for those who administer and score the assessment?

  Do alternate forms of the same assessment exist?

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These issues include scoring methodology (scoring done by a person or machine), technology needs, scoring guidelines, training and certification for scorers, materials or resources to help interpret results, and credentialing. Users should consider the availability of supporting documents and information from the assessment developer. Assessment results should be readily available, in a usable format, easily understandable, and useful to key audiences. Some assessment vendors offer a credential for demonstrating mastery of employability skills, usually those associated with requirements for entry-level or intermediate jobs, on an assessment or series of assessments. The portability or applicability of the credential depends on a number of factors, including its recognition in other geographic locations, value to employers, unions, or industries, and employment hiring requirements.
Scoring and data use

  How is the assessment scored?

  Are score reports or information on interpreting and using results available?

  Are results in a usable and easily understandable format?

  Does the assessment lead to a specific credential?

  Is there a clearly defined performance standard(s) for receiving a credential?

  Is the credential recognized by employers, industries, and other workforce partners?

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Security and data storage requirements vary by assessment type and across specific assessment instruments. Generally, security and confidentiality procedures require that assessment materials and student data, including personal information and assessment results are secured (e.g., in a locked cabinet or locked storage room or stored on a secure computer or server) to prevent them from being compromised. Procedures also can include keeping questions confidential before an assessment is administered and limiting access to assessment materials to key staff. Similarly, student assessment data should be kept secure and released only to the student and other authorized individuals. Storage of and access to credential data often include added considerations. For example, a separate secure database may be required to issue and track a regional or state-certified credential, provide verification of credentials to employers, and report out to stakeholders. These procedures may require additional resources from a state or program to ensure security and confidentiality. Users should consider the availability of supporting documentation and information from the assessment developer about their security procedures and how data will be stored.
Security and data storage

  What are the security and confidentiality requirements?

  Does the state or program, or assessment vendor have a secure location (e.g., data warehouse) to store credential data and track and verify credentials?

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An assessment should be accessible to everyone seeking to take it. It is important, then, to choose an assessment with appropriate modified forms or clear requirements for accommodations for students with disabilities and other special needs. Users should also understand which accommodations are required by law or regulation.
Accessibility and accommodations

  Are accommodations possible for students with special needs?

  What, if any, accommodations exist?

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Assessment costs include expenses for administration, training, and scoring. Specifically, these are costs related to the facilities, materials, and equipment needed to administer and score the assessment, training for assessment administrators, resources for protecting the security of assessment materials and results, and other human and material resources. Commercially developed assessments may require users to enter into a licensing agreement with the assessment publisher. Fees may be charged each time the test is administered or for a specific duration of time.
Cost

  What costs are associated with the assessment (i.e., administration, scoring, training, facilities, technology)?