Measuring Competency or Redefining the “Test”- Games and Simulations as Disruptive Assessment Tools
Traditional standardized tests typically take place at a single point in time, for a circumscribed time, and are administered primary through multiple choice or standard short form responses. These methods simply do not adequately assess the layered, interdisciplinary skills demanded by today’s complex connected world. These skills such as systems thinking, inter-cultural competence, collaboration, solving ill-structured problems, and creativity all cross disciplinary or content domains. In his book The Future of Mind, the distinguished physicist Michio Kaku describes how intelligence now correlates best with complexity and that the only effective way to measure intelligence today would be through a game, “Instead of measuring a person’s ability to simply assimilate information, this new method [a game based on future scenarios based on current situations] would measure a person’s ability to manipulate and mold this information to achieve a higher goal” (pp. 138-139). This is the kind of future assessment more organizations and assessment experts should be working to develop. Game Based Assessments (GBAs) are emerging as a promising alternative to traditional assessments. Three types of GBAs indicate valid new ways to assess learning:
1) Evidence-based design – designing a game or game activity around a specific learning task,
2) Stealth assessment – a form of embedded assessment where assessment occurs at the time of learning and not post learning, and 3) Open World Games – these games allow for multiple learning paths, personalized learning, and the generation of massive learning analytics. In this session, participants will be introduced to these 3 GBA types and their related theories, experience example GBA application demonstrations, learn about the respective level of effort for development for each example GBA, and then engage in a brainstorming activity around applications of each GBA type for different assessment and organizational needs.