How we developed a skills recognition feature for schools

Australia’s industry landscape has undergone massive shifts in recent decades thanks to forces including globalisation, digitisation and ready access to rapid, reliable communication. Other influences like the rise of the gig economy, not to mention COVID-19, continue to disrupt people’s careers.

For students to successfully transition into the new world of work, we need a new approach to careers education. For optimal outcomes, this approach must be student-driven and informed by meaningful data about a student’s abilities, interests and personality traits. Using personality, interests, skills, and extracurricular experience to indicate a student’s suitability to a chosen pathway is a profound opportunity for positive change.

Using a single score as the gateway to further educational and career choices means all other information about skills and knowledge gleaned over a student’s school journey gets lost. For example, a student may be the captain of the debating team, compete successfull as a mathlete or represent the state in sport, but none of that vital information is portrayed in a score. Often, investment of students and parents in extracurricular activities leads to the development of key skills and character traits that will be useful in the workplace, such as teamwork, resilience and collaborative problem- solving. In a single score, however, these skills and character traits go unrecognised.

Moreover, existing tests of career suitability based on aptitude and personality are disparate and inadequate. They only describe data from a given point in time and say nothing about a student’s growth and development. They are incapable of capturing rich and useful information gathered from activities such as project or research-based learning or involvement in co-curricular programs.

In contrast, a whole-person profile conveys deep, helpful information and data secured over years of learning. It encompasses changes in personality and interests over the years and includes vital evidence of essential skills or capabilities. Examples of these capabilities include leadership, critical thinking, digital literacy and the ability to work collaboratively with others. This dynamic, living document can be carried from one year level or school to the next, and into the workplace. Imagine the usefulness of such a profile to students as they consider their futures, let alone to education providers and employers!

This year we have been privileged to work alongside inventive, innovative and creative educators who have already embraced online and blended learning, competency-based assessment, data analytics and micro-credentialing. In addition to this, we have been working with a diverse range of students to understand how we can capture skills throughout their unique learning journeys, then credibly interconnect this data with subject selections, further education and industry.

We are proud to have developed a tool within our digital workflow that is co-developed to become unique with each school we work with. This feature keeps students engaged, giving education meaning and igniting the purpose behind online education. It allows schools and students to leverage data that hasn’t been visible before, in ways that haven’t been possible before.

We wish you a wonderful festive season and invite anyone interested in understanding more about our skills recognition feature to connect with us in this discussion, we are in this together!