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Assessment Maturity Model

A descriptive model that provides a way for organizations' executives and managers to monitor, chart and improve their use of assessments.

Assessment Solutions

Assessments can be categorized into two broad categories; types and context of usage as follows:

The Four Assessment Types


Contextual Usage of Assessments

Surveys

Surveys are used to gather information and/or opinions.

Formative Assessments

Formative Assessments are used capture information about a learner's goals and preferences in order to provide context for learning.
Formative Assessments are also used to strengthen memory recall by practice, to correct misconceptions and to promote confidence in someone's knowledge and/or skill.

Diagnostic Assessments

Diagnostic Assessments assesses knowledge, skills, behaviors, understandings and/or attitudes to determine gaps and potentially provide a diagnosis and prescription of learning and/or other activities.

Summative Assessments

Summative Assessments are used to measure or certify knowledge, skills, abilities and aptitudes (KSAs)

Strategic

These assessments collect information in order to assist an organization develop, plan and execute its strategies.

Pre-Learning

Assessments used prior to learning.

In-Learning

Assessments used whilst someone is actually learning and might be used to promote learning by practicing memory recall.

Of-Learning

Assessments used after learning experienced to detect satisfaction with the process or to detect levels of KSAs.

Qualification

Summative Assessments used to detect is someone is eligible for a qualification.

Talent Management

Assessments used to during talent management processes such as for recruiting, on-boarding and skills development within an organization.

 

Assessments are often used for multiple purposes and so it is encouraged that multiple names are used to describe its purpose. For instance an assessment delivered after a course to determine the amount of knowledge transfer that was yielded but which is also used to qualify someone for a particular job role is a "Post Course Test" as well as an "Internal Exam".

The list below proposes descriptions and categorizations of the main and different kinds of assessment solutions in use. In the Context of Use columns we have tried to maintain one alignment for clarity but in a few cases two are appropriate.



Learning
Talent


Strategic
Pre
In
Of
Qualify
Mgmt

Surveys







Level 1 Surveys
Course evaluations
These are specific evaluations, given after a course, to get the student's feedback on the learning activity. Level 1 Surveys are also called course evaluations or smile sheets. Level 1 Surveys typically ask for the learner's evaluation of the course content, course materials, the instructor, the information delivery, etc.



Y


Needs Analysis Surveys
These surveys are given to a group to explicitly determine what areas they want to learn more about, or where their knowledge is weak, with the purpose of providing learning offerings to meet those needs.

Y




Job Task Analysis Surveys
These surveys are given to a group of people doing a job to determine which tasks they perform, how regularly they perform them and the significance of the task to their role.

Y




Employee Attitude
and Employee Opinion Surveys
These surveys are used within an organization to collect input from employees about their feelings on one or more topics.
Y




Y
Customer/Partner Satisfaction Surveys
These surveys are used by an organization with other groups than their employees; it might include customers, prospects, partners, and others outside the organization. Classic market research is an example of this category.
Y





Conformance Surveys
These surveys are used to gather information and opinions to determine current conformance such as those used to confirm alignment with maturity models or six sigma.
Y





360 (Level 3) Surveys
These are surveys designed to measure whether behavior has changed on the job, usually delivered by a 360/180 survey to colleagues. Often data is aggregated to identify the effectiveness of learning activities.



Y


360 degree survey (employee appraisals)
Information gathered from someone's self-assessment and assessment by peers (and where relevant superiors and subordinates) to obtain input on how the person can improve. Organized by HR as part of a performance appraisal.





Y
360 learner peer review assessments
Information or judgments gathered from peers in a learning context to aid learning and provide feedback.

Y












Formative assessments

Strategic
Pre
In
Of
Qualify
Talent
Quizzes during Learning
Quizzes are typically used at the end or in intermediate points of learning activities. Usually do not store results (or if do so just to see if questions should be promoted or for other very low stakes use).


Y



Benchmark Assessments
Typically administered throughout a school year or course to provide instructors and mentors information so that they can make informed decisions on how to assist their students learn.


Y



Practice tests
Practice versions of higher stakes exams, made available or sold for practice purposes.


Y











Diagnostic Assessments

Strategic
Pre
In
Of
Qualify
Talent
Pre Tests
A diagnostic assessment before a specific learning activity. Used to create intrigue, to set a benchmark for comparison with a post course test, as a pre-requisite or route to an appropriate learning activity, and to provide instructors and mentors information on the student's abilities.

Y




Placement tests
A diagnostic assessment used to measure place someone in the right course or learning activity. Has a summative element but main purpose is to diagnose and prescribe. Used to route to the correct learning activity.

Y




Self-diagnostic tools
Assessment which asks non-judgmental questions and gives feedback to the participant to provide recommendations for products, services and/or learning activities. An example might be a financial survey which asks for information and recommends financial products.

Y
Y
Y


Personality assessments
Assessment which analyzes personality traits in order to predict behaviors, team fit, and management potential. Sometimes gives information directly to participant and sometimes requires an expert to review and interpret.





Y








Summative Assessments (Test and Exams)







Post Course Tests
Post Course Tests (aka Post Tests) are typically given to identify the learner's KSAs and may contribute to passing the course. Sometimes data from these tests are used to indicate how much a student or group of students have advanced their knowledge, skills and attitudes by comparison to the pre-test.



Y


Graduation Exams
Assessments given at the end of a grade level, or during or at the end of a course, to assess students achievement against a set of standards which are used to define a "pass" or grade; for instance academic courses. Graduation Exams are normally available only to students who have registered with an organization, typically a school, college or university, for study.



Y
Y

Internal exams
Exams open to a closed community, for instance employees or partners set by an organization for its own purposes. Examples include regulatory compliance exams and partner verification exams.




Y

Open exams
Exams open to anyone who qualifies that are used to certify KSAs. Common examples are IT certifications (e.g. Microsoft, Cisco) or general academic entry exams (e.g. TOEFL, SAT) and IQ tests. Authority comes from an organization not a legal source, but passing can be a passport to greater pay or rewards and so the stakes are often high.




Y

Licensing exams
Exams which must be passed to meet a legal requirement or a quasi-legal requirement, for example driving tests, medical licensing exams. These are very high stakes and need to be legally defensible.




Y

Pre-employment screening
Asks questions of applicants about KSAs and experience to gate applicants. Used to determine whether applicants meet basic requirements and can be considered for the next stage of a recruitment process. In some cases close to a survey.





Y
Pre-employment skills tests
Tests given in pre-employment to measure KSAs to see if the applicant is suitable for recruitment.





Y
Psychological assessments
Clinical psychological assessments which ask questions and then determine a psychological profile. These are typically validated against a norm population.





Y