The Australian State of Victoria’s standard educational assessments include computer-adaptive tests (CATs), reports their new, free manual
on report interpretation. I was pleased to discover that the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority uses the most modern form of human assessment to help children of all ages learn.
In particular, it is noteworthy that their easy-to-read manual includes an understanding of Rasch Measurement. It notes the specific locations where there are items that are out of scope for a given assessment. In these places, the child is mismatched with the test – the questions are either too hard or too easy to produce a trustworthy metric.
I’m hopeful that Australia’s educational leadership rubs off on more schools around the world.
Posted in Assessment, Computer Adaptive Measurement, Computer Adaptive Testing, Education, Item Response Theory, Psychometrics, Rasch Measurement
Tagged CAT, Children, Computer Adaptive Testing, Education, IRT, Item Response Theory, Learning, Pedagogy, Rasch, Rasch Measurement, Training
Nine schools in Utah have found the benefits of Computer-Adaptive Testing to trump older methods. Adaptive tests change to match a student’s skill level, avoiding wasted time and effort on questions that are far below or above their proficiency level. They’re also at least 20% shorter. This allows for periodic reassessment, and personalized focus on the specific curricular areas a learner needs to work on. Each student is treated as a special, unique person.
But the US Federal Government’s Department of Education is behind the times, and making it difficult for Utah to use the modern psychometric methods, according to Utah’s Daily Herald. The “No Child Left Behind Act” requires outdated, non-adaptive methods to be used in addition to the modern approaches. While on the surface, the DoE’s request for peer review is something that is good, in applied settings, it’s rarely used. The instruments I’ve developed would certainly pass the scrutiny of my peers, and the feedback they give is useful. But these extra steps are typically unnecessary to ensure that instrumentation is useful, as long as professionals develop the Computer-Adaptive Tests. It’s downright destructive to children for the federal government to force Utah to use outdated, longer, and less precise measures of learning. While I presume those favored by Washington are “peer reviewed”, I suspect that the review committee is selected by those who are friends of politicians, and are likely unskilled in the recent developments in computer-adaptive measurement.
Fortunately, Utah appears to have visionary, contemporary leadership about steadfastly supporting good measurement to help children learn. The Utah Legislature, the State School Board and Governor all approved the plan to continue to use it – and the Feds require the outdated assessments to be used as well. This is both a hassle, unnecessary cost, and an opportunity cost – the children could have been spending the time they’ll take on the DoE tests on learning something new. Are you a visionary leader like the folks in Utah? More by The Scientific Leader on Computer-Adaptive Measurement, applied to organizations and business is free here.
Posted in Assessment, Computer Adaptive Measurement, Computer Adaptive Testing, Item Response Theory, Leadership, Psychometrics, Rasch Measurement
Tagged Bureaucrat, CAT, Child, Computer Adaptive Testing, Education, Government, IRT, Leadership, Learning, No Child Left Behind, Psychometrics, Rasch Measurement, Training
In a move suggesting the U.S. Government is role modeling Zimbabwe, Bloomberg reports Fed Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Paulson are prepared to provide more than $7.76 trillion US Dollars – amounting to half the value of everything produced in the nation last year – to try to rescue the US financial system. This includes the recent guaranteeing of $306B of Citigroup debt this week and $3.18 trillion already tapped by financial institutions. The commitment eclipses the earlier $700 billion “Troubled Asset Relief Program”. This inflation of the money supply – printing dollars out of thin air, and in large volumes – will likely devalue the currency and suggests future runaway inflation.
Human Capital & Risk Management
What skills are required by businesses and individuals to mitigate these risks? While no one can know the future with certainty, The Scientific Leader speculates that for organizations, as part of Financial Risk Management, the management of money in different currencies becomes a crucial skill. Financial Risk Management is a subset of the larger Enterprise Risk Management. For larger firms, Financial Risk Management happens in the Treasury department. As firms liquidate their dollars and switch to other currencies, and hard assets like gold, they will be more reliant on financial professionals with treasury expertise. Similarly, the treasury department will likely be every more focused on hedging currency risk with financial futures and derivatives. All of this sort of work could increase the demand for financiers with treasury expertise, and in the short run increase their salaries significantly if the demand outstrips the supply. Firms that do not yet select financial professions with objective measures of prudence and conscientousness may also increase their use of pre-hire selection processes, such as our computer-adaptive Work Personality Inventory(TM).
What will be the consequence of this sort of runaway inflation on employees? The lowest paid employees are likely to suffer the most. An inflated dollar will purchase fewer goods and services, and the least skilled employees will likely suffer the most. Employers that are still in business can attract and retain these sorts of employees by providing different sorts of benefits that help them survive the crisis, such as firm-subsidized food and housing.
How severe do you expect the current recession to get? What human capital risk mitigation practices are you employing now personally to weather a potential sequel to the great depression? Confession – I’m moving my assets to Peter Schiff’s Euro Pacific Capital. What are you doing?
Posted in Enterprise Risk Management, Human Capital
Tagged Bernanke, Business, Catastrophe, Crisis, Debt, Enterprise Risk Management, ERM, Federal Reserve, Human Capital, Inflation, Learning, Management, New Deal, Paulson, Risk, Skills, Treasury, Trillion, Zimbabwe
Who wouldn’t want to work for an inspirational, considerate, stimulating and charismatic CEO? A recent study in the top journal in applied psychology looked at exactly this issue, with fascinating results. The authors looked at 121 CEO’s attributes and correlated them with business performance – both objective sales growth and subjective ratings of their performance compared with competitors.
It didn’t surprise me that transformational leadership significantly predicted performance. 30 years of research, and many meta-analyses that summarize the findings of research support the fact that people high in the attributes that define transformational leaders produce better results. What fascinated me was that this effect was that transformational founders who stayed a long time with their firm outperformed everyone else; especially if they were in a small firm. Their CEO performance model was able to account for 29% of the variability in objective sales growth; and 27% of the variability in their own view of their firm performance versus competitors.
The authors suspected this beforehand – that you can see more clearly the impact of transformational leadership on outcomes in smaller firms where there aren’t other factors that will account for business performance. It was nice to see that longevity, tenacity and commitment, at least in this study, appears to trump the “revolving CEO” approach. It is also consistent with Google’s success – Co-founders Serge Brin and Larry Page still lead the firm in a “triumvirate” with CEO Eric Schmidt. The three were ranked #1 most important person on the web by PC world. Amazon.com’s founder Jeff Bezos is also still CEO.
I introduced these methods to Sutter Health, when I was previously their Chief Learning Officer, and they were very well received both in selection and learning & devleopment.
Posted in Evidence-based Management, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Leadership
Tagged Analytics, CEO, Coaching, Evidence-based Management, Executive, Leadership, Learning, Modeling, Prediction, Sales
Ever since I launched the Scientific Leader, I was pleased that my Internet Service Provider had an easy-to-install, open source Learning Management System for me to include, along with this blog. Moodle has turned out to be a goldmine of usefulness. First, I was able to upload an introductory class on Rasch Measurement that I created using Udutu, for free. Moodle has a very robust user base and frequent upgrades. I was especially pleased to learn that it also has a testing/quiz function, and curiously has a separate survey function