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BLOG Archive - 4 / 2016

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Data Files

Assessment results are only as good as the data you get and use. It's often easier to accumulate data than it is to be able to use it effectively. Don’t implement a critical thinking assessment program without making sure the individual and/or group data delivered will be objective high impact and relevant.  When you make your decision, consider these essential criteria:

  • Choose the right test: When thinking about measuring critical thinking, the first decision is what you need to assess: strength in thinking skills, the reasoning mindsets that motivate an individual to apply thinking skills, or both.   Engaging problems and making decisions using critical thinking involves both skills and habits of mind. For a complete assessment of a test taker's critical thinking, Insight Assessment recommends that both skills and mindset be measured.
    • The most informative assessments provide objective measurements of strengths and weaknesses on core component thinking skills or attributes in addition to an overall score.
  • Know your test takers: Accurate measurement of critical thinking skills requires that the test be calibrated to fit the likely skill range of the planned test taker group. Effective assessments engage and challenge test takers with scenarios and situations relevant to their grade level or professional interests in a variety of formats.
    • To perform well on a critical thinking test, the test taker must be able to read the question scenario and the answer choices, and to understand the question being asked. Some aspects of this process involve critical thinking skills of interpretation and analysis.  It is important that reading issues are not significant barriers for the test taker.
    • Language is also a consideration when assigning a critical thinking test.  Students or workers who are using other than their native language may have difficulty demonstrating their true critical thinking skill if their language comprehension is inadequate to understand the question being asked.
  • Data needs context: The relevance of asessment data is maximized when you are able to relate the scores of your individual test-takers or entire group to appropriate comparison groups. Norm referenced scoring provides powerful metrics to evaluate the relative strength of the performance of test takers.  Test scores without comparison percentiles are essentially one dimensional; while you are able to compare individual test scores to other members of your group, you are not able to determine the relative strength of the group in comparison to others in the population. 
    • Reviewers, such as accrediting bodies, recognize the benefits of external benchmarking and often require this evidence as an indicator of organizational effectiveness or as documentation for self-studies          
  • Optimize data accessibility: Data needs to be available in formats suitable for your purposes.  Both individual and group reports should provide relevant data that can be analyzed to provide benefits at the individual test taker level or at program level. 
    • Avoid dilution of key indicators. Be sure you are collecting data in a targeted way by defining questions or groupings that allow you to compile data to solve challenges. Look for a test system that permits aggregation and re-aggregation of test taker scores to extract maximum insights.  

Contact us today. Our assessment specialists will help you you capture high impact and relevant critical thinking data using our validated test instruments , flexible online administration and superior reporting system.   

For more about how to choose the right assessment

For more more about Insight Assessment services

INSIGHT.image. talking at desk

Our clients share a common goal: to strengthen the effectiveness of their employee teams. They invest in the training and assessment of critical thinking because it pays off every day in better decisions. Practical uses of the individual and group data reported by  INSIGHT thinking skills and reasoning mindset assessments include: 

Demonstrate Candidate Proficiency: 

  • INSIGHT can be administered in advance of an interview process anywhere in the world. Clients can choose to objectively screen applicant pools prior to a face to face interview, or reserve assessments for selective potential hires. If your business trains or provides staffing or makes hiring recommendations for other businesses, adding INSIGHT assessments to your candidate preparation demonstrates your awareness of the importance of strength in decision-making and adds quality to your personnel services. The reasoning skills and professional attributes measured by the INSIGHT series are known to be predictive of workplace success. These industry appropriate metrics, derived from consultations with experts and working professionals position our customers to succeed in today’s business environment where employees with strong reasoning skills and a positive work ethic are in demand throughout the world.

Support Equal Opportunity Hiring: 

  • Employers need objective tools that assure job candidates a level playing field . In an era when academic degrees and letters of reference do not differentiate individual competencies in problem solving and decision making needed in key positions, our customers rely on INSIGHT to assess a candidate’s strength in core reasoning skills, decision-making mindset and work ethic. Orienting new employees to work responsibilities is a necessity, but doing so for an employee who proves unable to perform the work in the long run is costly when resources are limited. Adding a measure of critical thinking skills and mindset to employee hiring procedures can provide the assurance that the new member of your working team will have the ability to interpret current practices and policies, accurately apply protocols, and evaluate their effectiveness within their scope of work and the attributes that support their work responsibilities.

Augment Vision and Leadership:  

  • Well made decisions strengthen the quality of the work environment for individuals, groups, and organizations. Vision and leadership begins at the top with chiefs who can determine strategic direction and guide their teams to analyze and respond to workplace opportunities that will move the organization forward. Together with unit leaders who have the mindset and reasoning skills to reliably make needed decisions they create a competitive advantage over less skilled decision makers.  The result is a confident and capable executive team and a business culture with strong values and performance. INSIGHT Executive provides a personal assessment to help you select leaders with strong decision skills and the leadership qualities to succeed.

Implement a training program to strengthen the effectiveness of employee teams:

  • Objective data from critical thinking assessments can be used to identify areas of individual and/or strength and weakness so that training programs can proactively be focused on improvement of skills needed by the team.  INSIGHT Development Program includes an assessment and critical thinking training modules that can be integrated into you onboarding training processes or implemented as professional development targeting improvement of employees thinking skills. Modules focus on specific skills or habits of mind that are necessary for high stakes decision making in the business world. This proven, cost-effective self-paced program for individuals (and teams) integrates validated metrics to provide an opportunity for employees to focus on self -improvement in skills valued by employees.

Improve High Stakes Decision Making: 

  • Poor decision making costs money, jobs and even lives. Every business has a group of personnel who are responsible for addressing the most sensitive of problems. In service industries, these personnel make high stakes judgments throughout their workday. Why rely on guesswork when there are objective tools that identify the people who have stronger decision making and problem solving skills and the mindset and work ethic to apply those skills? It has never been more important to assess the thinking skills and motivation of these problem solvers as a way of assuring that your company is living up to their mission and values. INSIGHT brings you a world class array of instruments that assist you to determine who should have these decision responsibilities in your organization.

Prevent Loss and Limiting Liability:  

  • Weak thinking skills and thinking mindset are the greatest cause of lost opportunity . Errors in judgment result in serious liability costs. Together these two factors make the difference between a profitable business and one that fails. Every trainee and working professional can improve the quality of their thinking skills. With INSIGHT you can measure overall reasoning and problem solving skills appropriate to the decision responsibility of your professionals, staff level personnel, and support personnel. Improvements in thinking skills and thinking mindset can be achieved by employees at every stage of their career.

Demonstrate the Quality of Training Programs: 

  • The value of your investment in training programs should not be taken for granted. Assess employee groups to diagnose the need for training, and assess success of your employee development programs. Scaffold employee development programs to improve their effectiveness.  Can trainees benefit from planned training programs? Studies of effective teaching and learning in workplace development programs demonstrate the need for a match between the training level and the worker. If training is too challenging, some candidates will hide their failures until errors become apparent. Use entry level assessment to estimate readiness to enter internships or workplace setting.

Contact us to see sample reports and to choose the INSIGHT solution calibrated for your assessment needs.

Don’t settle for less.

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