Gamified Skills Assessment: An End To Unfulfilling Questionnaires
Sometimes it feels that Life is just a constant need to monitor your level of skill.
Skill proficiencies determine so much of what we do and who are: From how well you did in school, your success or failure in your chosen career path and to some extent the size and makeup of your social life. While you might debate the impact of skill proficiency in your life what cannot be contested is the ‘nightmare’ of determining skill levels. The standard processes of skills measurement today are not only unfulfilling but we all too often experience them as judgements instead of the developmental milestones they actually are. In the Education Sector skills evaluations actually are judgements: They all too often determine where students are placed, what attention they receive and their progression through primary education. Naturally this makes the experience of having your skills measured a stressful one which is not only unnecessary but most importantly counter effective!
Reviewing the practice of measuring people’s behavior will lead you into the Education and Assessment branches of Psychology: Both of which are infected by machine age tools of measurements and tests. As a Co Founder with a degree in Applied Psychology I’m all to familiar with the proper use of psycho diagnostic tests and results interpretation. I’ve been involved in running and being the subject of these tests and they’re not just boring but more importantly unfulfilling. The bulk of certified assessments and tests consist of the standard pen and paper questionnaires. To ensure that participants do not cheat and to safeguard the validity and reliability of the test most questions in a standard evaluation questionnaire are often asked twice or even trice. These questions are phrased in different ways with the end result being tests with statements several pages long which the person being tested must rank from 1 to 5 as to how close they fit their personality.
I don’t know about you but these ridiculously boring tests sure as sunshine don’t fit my personality and I can’t believe that anyone else finds them suitable to their personalities either.
There are better assessment tools available of course involving methods like puzzles, riddles and memory pictures tests. There are even some superb methods that consist of role playing or simulating events. These methods however are run by supervisors with the same/similiar educational background as mine who have to directly assess participant behavior and follow clear observations forms and guidelines. For me behavioral observation is one of the best ways of validly assessing behavior. The only drawback is that these methods require the involvement of a lot of people in assessing just one person (never mind the time it takes as well). For every assessment the examiner has to be have been trained in taking that specific test and in almost every assessment an examiner must be present to ensure that the test is being done properly.
This makes these highly effective methods of assessment often exorbitantly expensive and people who have the opportunity to experience them are all too often well placed in a company that can afford to run the tests. To say this is a missed opportunity would be my understatement of the year.
If everyone could have the opportunity to experience the results of tests like these, and receive the insight and guidance these tests provide, Society on the whole I believe would more productive and lot happier as a whole.
We would be able to discover the hidden potential of people young and old and help them discover paths once hidden and directions undiscovered. The young in particular, if assessed properly, could have their education adjusted and finely tuned to service their particular skills and needs, preventing what right now seems like a generation of unused potential going down the drain. The dramatic results of our ID college Pilot proved that with the right assessment tools you can not only expose hidden skills and passions but refine and correct students placed in areas of study incorrectly.
That’s not to say there has been and continue to be efforts in the area of digitizing assessment. Most of the time however they’re the same old boring assessments that have replaced pens and paper with clicks and graphics. I’m particularly critical of this type of digital assessments not just because it’s a broken model but because it’s also easier to cheat.
In the biggest problem lies the biggest opportunity.
Think about it: Assessments are boring. We keep doing them in order to get or keep a job, get good grades etc. Every time we get measured and evaluated while being bored and annoyed no result is inherently a valid measurement.
If we are not intrinsically motivated to show our skills then why should we?
This bring me naturally to Gamification. One of the core principles behind Gamification is the accurate measurement of progress. Effective communication of this progress to the user begets the feelings of growth and accomplishment which reinforces continuing progress in user behavior. This process results in the now common place tools of points, badges, leader boards etc which are now the most commonplace tools used in Gamification to give the user insight in his or her progress. Examining Gamification through this lens makes the accurate measurement of behavior critical. Armed with this insight and backed by years of research IamProgrez’s focus is gamified assessment. We measure 21st century skills with our ACCO model in our games and for me, with deep background in Applied Psychology, it’s a match made in heaven.
Instead of dull assessments with unmotivated people we’ve got users eager to assess their skills and discovering that progress is not only fun but truly rewarding. Our system gives us a completely new view on how we should assess, learn and progress. When backed by complex systems built around a framework like our ACCO model it also becomes a far more valid verification on someone’s skills. If the process of evaluation is fun and engaging users become more inclined to show the truth about themselves. We’ve proved that taking this form of gamified assessment isn’t just be about finishing the assessment but instead is about true progression and skill measurements.
Our model is one for the age we live in now. An Age of computers and smart phones, gaming devices and smart watches that can all be turned into portals for accurate skills measurements in a way that is engaging, revealing and deeply insightful. It’s also one not hidden behind high pay walls where only big companies can afford observational models.
The Age of Pen and Paper Skill Assessment is over: The egalitarian Age of Gamified Assessment has arrived.