Assessing Employability Skills
Below are resources that explain important asessment concepts, including understanding assessment and the assessment selection process, assessing employability skills, and how to locate assessments.
Understanding assessment and the assessment selection process
Career Planning Begins with Assessment: A Guide for Professionals Serving Youth with Educational and Career Development Challenges (Rev. Ed.) (PDF, 669 KB)
Includes information on the purpose and types of formal and informal assessments, as well as selecting and using assessments, for practitioners, policymakers, and administrators serving youth and young adults in a variety of settings. The Guide also includes profiles of commercially available assessments and discusses policy and implementation issues related to assessment selection, such as building an assessment infrastructure, establishing memoranda of understanding among agencies, and developing a coordinated assessment system.
Source: Timmons, J., Podmostko, M., Bremer, C., Lavin, D., and Wills, J., National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, Institute for Educational Leadership, 2005
Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education (PDF, 823 KB)
The Joint Committee on Testing Practices provides a practical summary of selected sections of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing for developing and administering educational assessments. The Code includes separate information for test developers and users on developing and selecting tests, administering and scoring, reporting and interpreting results, and the information provided to test takers.
Source: Joint Committee on Testing Practices, 2004
Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Measurement
Details professional conduct for those who develop, market, select, administer, and score educational assessments. The Code also describes responsibilities for individuals who interpret and communicate assessment results, educate others about assessments, and conduct research on assessments. The Code applies to any type of assessment given during the educational process, such as formal or informal and traditional or alternative methods.
Source: National Council on Measurement in Education, 1995
Selection Assessment Methods: A Guide to Implementing Formal Assessments to Build a High-Quality Workforce (PDF, 450 KB)
Presents research-based guidance on the value and selection of formal assessments to inform hiring decisions. The report includes an introduction to understanding the skills and knowledge required to perform a job effectively and how they are reflected in formal assessments, an overview of different types of assessment methods used for internal and external selection (i.e., cognitive ability, personality, and situational judgment tests), criteria to consider when selecting an assessment (e.g., validity and cost), and other important considerations in implementing assessments.
Source: Pulakos, E.D., Society for Human Resource Management Foundation, 2005
Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (PDF, 196 KB)
Outlines professional standards for test administrators and developers in the fields of education, psychology, and employment. The standards are designed to ensure sound testing practice and provide criteria for evaluating assessments. Standards categories include test construction, evaluation, and documentation; fairness in testing; and testing applications.
Source: American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education, 1999
Testing and Assessment: A Guide to Good Practices for Workforce Investment Professionals (PDF, 307 KB)
Details information for workforce development professionals on the principles of assessment selection, administration, and scoring, as well as accurately interpreting and using results. The Guide includes a Checklist for Evaluating a Test and outlines the possible limitations of assessment tools.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 2006
Assessing employability skills
Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S): White Papers
A research initiative designed to improve the instruction and assessment of employability skills. Features five draft white papers that provide the research basis for the initiative on topics such as defining 21st century skills, understanding methodological and technological issues associated with assessing 21st century skills, and developing national policy frameworks for assessing 21st century skills.
Source: Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S), led by the University of Melbourne and sponsored by Cisco, Intel, and Microsoft
Assessing 21st Century Skills: Summary of a Workshop
Summarizes the proceedings of a National Research Council workshop on the assessment of 21st century skills. The report outlines expert thinking in three employability skills areas: cognitive skills, interpersonal skills, and intrapersonal skills.
Source: Koenig, J.A., Committee on the Assessment of 21st Century Skills, and Board on Testing and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council, 2011
Certifying Adult Education Students: A Survey of State Directors of Adult Education on Certificate Programs in Use (PDF, 419 KB)
Reports on the findings of a survey of state directors of adult education on the provision of certificates for adult learners. The brief details findings on the types of certificates awarded and assessments used, program type, partnerships with other agencies and employers, and availability of completion data.
Source: Murphy, G., Council for Advancement of Ault Literacy, 2011
Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century
Details the findings and recommendations of a committee appointed to identify a set of 21st century skills and review related research. The committee organizes 21st century skills into three broad categories—cognitive, interpersonal, and intrapersonal competencies—and reviews research on their importance to educational and employment outcomes. The report then examines research on deeper learning and the development of 21st century competencies, a process defined as the ability to transfer both knowledge and skills to new situations, and on effective instructional and assessment strategies that support the development of transferable knowledge and skills. It concludes with a discussion of the opportunities for, and challenges of, promoting deeper learning and 21st century competencies within the public education system, particularly as they relate to assessment and teacher professional development.
Source: Board on Testing and Assessment, National Research Council
A PowerPoint presentation that describes how and why the Chicago Public Schools developed a rubric for assessing students’ employability skills. The presentation slides include the district’s 16 core employability skills and detailed assessment rubric, a flowchart of curriculum and assessment alignment, a comparison of existing employability assessments, and a crosswalk of the core skills and employability assessments.
Source: Chicago Public Schools Career and Technical Education, 2011
Random Acts of Progress: Certification of Readiness for Jobs and College (PDF, 543 KB)
Summarizes a roundtable discussion on adult learner certification, including related research and national and state certification models. It also discusses the extent to which employers value the certifications, the certification level necessary to succeed in the labor market, and important steps to overcoming barriers to improve certification systems.
Source: Parker, J. and Spangenberg, G., Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy, 2012
A Survey of Selected Work Readiness Certificates (PDF, 496 KB)
Summarizes and compares five adult workforce readiness certificates, outlining each certificate’s curricular and assessment content, target population, certification process, cost, and employment related outcomes. The report also includes criteria for states to consider when implementing a workforce readiness credential.
Source: Rey-Alicea, N. and Scott, G., prepared by Jobs for the Future for Skill Up Rhode Island, A Project of United Way Rhode Island, 2007
21st Century Skills Assessment: A Partnership for 21st Century Skills e-paper (PDF, 89 KB)
An introductory paper outlining the importance of employability skills assessment, characteristics of effective formative and summative assessments, and an introduction to developing and implementing state employability assessments.
Source: Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2007
FAQ/Finding Information About Psychological Tests
Guidance on finding and purchasing published or unpublished tests within a given subject area, including working with test publishers and locating computerized testing materials. The document also includes information on printed and online test reference resources.
Source: American Psychological Association, 2012