Quick Guide to Corporate Assessments

More than 75% of The Times Best Companies to Work For and 80% of Fortune 500 firms use some form of psychometric testing. Not only that but companies who use pre-hire assessment tests report a 39% lower turnover rate, according to research conducted by the Aberdeen Group. With this data in mind, the importance of assessments in hiring and developing talent cannot be undermined.

However, not all assessments are created equal. And while one assessment may give an accurate presentation of an employee’s level of skill, another one may give a misleading presentation. So, if you are working in an organization and considering using assessments for talent acquisition or development or succession planning, you will find it helpful to learn first how to navigate all the types of assessments out there.

In this article, we’ll take you through a quick journey to help you discover the different types of assessments and how to distinguish the signal from the noise.

The Different Types of Assessments

Aptitude Tests
These are tests that measure one’s potential to do well in a particular ability, once learned. It does not signify current competence but rather potential competence if learning happens. Examples of such tests are foreign language or numerical aptitude tests.

Ability Tests
These are tests that measure one’s current level of skill with regard to a particular ability. In other words, they tell you whether someone has the ability to do something. In that sense, ability is the result of both aptitude and learning combined. Ability tests are numerous such as numerical ability, geospatial ability, musical ability, kinesthetic ability, etc.

Psychometric Tests
These are tests that measure behavioral traits or habits that an individual demonstrates or prefers. They could also measure certain personality dimensions. Examples of psychometric assessments are intelligence quotients, resilience assessments, personality assessments, etc. It is essential when using these assessments not to use them as an excuse for propagating bias. Instead, you need to appreciate the diversity they uncover and use their results to guide development & coaching efforts.

Knowledge Tests
These are tests that measure an individual’s level of knowledge regarding a particular topic. Knowledge, being the first level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, does not equate to skill or ability. The fact that someone ‘knows’ about something does not mean they can do it. As such, these knowledge tests are less often used in hiring talent and more often used as pre and post assessments while delivering learning solutions.

While delivering learning solutions, knowledge tests are usually administered in two forms:

Formative Assessments: As the name implies, ‘formative’ assessments are knowledge tests used to ‘form’ the remainder of the training program. They are assessments used pre or mid a training program to guide the training content and delivery till the end.

Summative Assessments: These are knowledge tests that are used towards the end of the training program to measure learning outcome. They measure whether the individual has actually learned what they were supposed to learn in the program.

The Two Main Factors of Assessments

When selecting assessments for your talent management efforts, besides ensuring you select the right type of assessment for your purpose, you must also ensure that the assessment is scientifically sound. This is achieved through the two below factors:

Validity: This factor means that the assessment actually measures what it says it measures. This is usually achieved by comparing the results of the assessments with the actual real-life performance of the individuals who take it. Do they match? Do high test-scorers actually have high performance in real-life? Do low scorers actually have low performance? Of course, you don’t need to check the validity of the assessments on your own staff, although this is a good follow up practice. What you need to do is make sure that the assessments you use or purchase have sound statistical validity already proven by the assessment creators.

Reliability: This factor means that the results of the assessment remain relatively stable over time. This is usually achieved by the assessment creators through asking test takers to retake the test after a period of time passes since their initial test experience. If the results are relatively the same, the test is reliable; if not, then it is not reliable. It is important that you observe the reliability of the assessments you use on your own employees but it is also more important to seek out the reliability data of the assessment creators. If a test has low reliability, then it’s most probably not worth your budget.

Assessing Your Talent through Valid & Reliable Assessments

These were the two factors that you must consider as you purchase assessments for recruitment, learning, or succession planning efforts. If you’re interested in purchasing assessments you can trust for your organization, check out our vast library of assessment solutions here.

Leveraging Blockchain for Educational Institutions

Since its introduction in 2011, blockchain has been used as a powering technology in many industries such as the finance, legal, healthcare, and IoT sectors. Its adoption in education is no different. Still in its early stages, only 2% of educational institutions in 2019 were using it, according to a poll by Gartner. According to the same poll, 18% of higher education institutions were planning to use it. With its possible advantages to all educational levels from K-12 to higher education, blockchain is here to stay. So, if your educational institution still has not ridden the wave yet, it is time you consider it.

But before you decide whether you would like to include blockchain in your technology stack, let’s first explore what blockchain is and its potential benefits to your institution.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger technology (DLT) that consists of a growing sequence of records, all of which are created and stored forming blocks. Each of these blocks is timestamped and linked to the following block using cryptography, thereby creating a ‘chain’ of blocks, otherwise known as a blockchain. The most interesting feature of the blockchain is that the data storage process is irreversible. In other words, once data is stored in the chain, it cannot be altered without altering the entire sequence of transactions after it, rendering it impossible to tamper with. Another extremely interesting feature of blockchain is that it is managed over a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. In other words, no centralized body is in charge of storing the data or managing it, rendering it efficient and relatively immune to corruption risks.

The State of Blockchain in Education

Although a relatively new technology, blockchain has been gradually gaining adoption in the academic field. In fact, the global Blockchain in Education market size has been valued at USD 118.73 million in 2021 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 43.94%, reaching USD 1055.98 million by 2027.

Why Blockchain in Education?

There are many applications to using blockchain in education. Together, they enable more efficiency in education administration, easier record and content sharing, and more student freedom. Here are a few of these applications.

Verification of Student Records

The average educational institution handles thousands of student records per year, ranging from birth certificates and IDs to previous educational certifications. The process of student enrollment requires the collection and verification of these records. Considering the fact that there are 967,734 unique credentials in the U.S alone, you can imagine how tedious and laborious this task usually is. With blockchain, once a record or certification is issued and stored in the chain, it becomes automatically verified because, remember, all blockchain records are irreversible and tamperfree. So, all educational institutions need to do to verify that a student certificate or transcript is not fake is check it on the blockchain. If it’s there, then it’s real. This automation in record collection and verification can save educational administrators a significant amount of time every year.

Issuance of Transcripts & Certification

Similar to the verification of students’ records, educational institutions spend an enormous amount of time every year verifying records for certification issuance. In fact, a recent study by the University of Rome revealed that the process of verifying diplomas cost the university more than $20,000 annually, corresponding to about 36 weeks of work. But with blockchain, the time spent on these tasks can be significantly reduced as courses completed by learners can be automatically saved on the chain, allowing for automated transcript and certificate issuance.

Storage of Learning Content

The blockchain allows for limitless storage of data, so educational institutions can also use it to upload and store their course content. This enables universal access for learners worldwide and helps educational institutions tap into global markets. It also guarantees copyright protection since the blockchain makes clear the initial content upload transaction owner and timestamp.

Smart Contracts

Blockchain enables the full enforcement of contracts using the decentralized technology, with no intermediaries involved, giving rise to an application more commonly known as ‘smart contracts’. Via smart contracts, when two parties enter an agreement on the blockchain, the chain verifies that they both have the means to meet their commitments. Then, once one party meets its commitment, the chain automatically enforces the other party’s commitment. For example, if a student enrolls for a particular course via a smart contract, the blockchain would first verify that they can pay the tuition fees for the course. Once the course is open for the student, the blockchain would automatically withdraw the payment from the student’s account, with no intermediary and no room for default. This is great for educational institutions as it significantly streamlines the tuition payment processes and enhances their efficiency.

Tokens & Rewards

Considering that a 2006 study exploring student attrition cited that 70% of high school dropouts said they were unmotivated, the importance of motivating learners by educators cannot be overlooked. Using the blockchain, educators can keep their learners motivated by using digital badges and cryptocoins to issue rewards. The badges can be instantly viewed and verified by future employers any time and the cryptocurrency can be used by the learners to make purchases online. It’s as sleek as that!

Leverage Blockchain for Your Educational Institution

These were a few of the top applications of blockchain in education. If you’re interested in knowing more about how blockchain can help your educational institution or are interested in viewing a live demo, you can check out the blockchain solutions for education by our partner, Educhain here.


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