Measuring Hard-to-Measure Student Competencies

Brian M. Stecher, Laura S. Hamilton :

Efforts to prepare students for college, careers, and civic engagement have traditionally emphasized academic skills, but a growing body of research suggests that interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies, such as communication and resilience, are important predictors of postsecondary success and citizenship. One of the major challenges in designing educational interventions to support these outcomes is a lack of high-quality measures that could help educators, students, parents, and others understand how students perform and monitor their development over time. This report provides guidelines to promote thoughtful development of practical, high-quality measures of interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies that practitioners and policymakers can use to improve valued outcomes for students.

What research and development is needed to create high-quality measures of students’ interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies?

Which competencies should be addressed first?

Which research and development goals should receive priority for the identified competencies?

How long will the research and development process take, and how much money needs to be committed to support the efforts?

How should the measurement-development process be managed?