Posted in response to the call for Ideas by the Social Innovation Camp 2007... tagged onto a similar idea already there for personal development evaluation targeted for at-risk youth, selected for SI camp 2007 ...
The "Be" Factor, a unique formula combined with an innovative 360 Skill Portfolio to create the Be Well, Work Well application
- that revolutionizes the way students are evaluated by promoting development and assessment of skills needed for success in the 21st Century.
- that teaches and evaluates adaptability, capacity for change, leadership/ethics, and communication skills in a meaningful way
- that provides students, schools, training programs, and employers with a "skill portfolio"
Be Factor: One's ability to set personal goals, modify and modulate behavior to achieve those goals, demonstrate reflective capacity on meeting personal goals previously established, exercise the capacity to refine goals, and sustain a "learning" mindset for personal development.
Be Well, Work Well: One's ability to work well with others, know oneself - one's moral/ethical outlook, understand one's strengths and weaknesses, demonstrate the capacity for responsiveness to others, capacity to tolerate uncertainty and difference, provide and receive feedback from others, identify one's leadership strengths, demonstrate commitment to develop one's weaker areas, harness one's energy to accomplish a desired outcome (including process outcomes)
What Social Need does it address?
Schools evaluate knowledge, and on occassion, analytic/reasoning skills, but life skills - communication, capacity, leadership- are not cultivated. Yet these skills are the cornerstone of success in the "real world."
Developing mechanisms that both cultivate and demonstrate a person's capacity, adaptability, communication skills, and personal development are vital to transform the status quo and to lead our education paradigm into the future.
This effort specifically arises out of an interest to develop a tool to evaluate interdisciplinary professionals who require a common skill set - such as communication, leadership, ethics, conflict resolution. In the absence of adequate tools to measure these skills, unequal access to opportunities arises, allowing less "skilled" people to be selected based on degrees and academic achievement, while the most important skill sets for success are "soft" skills.
What's New About it?
- While 360 reviews and skill portfolios are not, separately, new, this application would integrate these two approaches to innovate the educational paradigm with the aim of transforming the educational metrics and promoting cultivation of the most essential life skills that go untaught and unevaluated.
The System Would Work Something Like....
- One does a baseline skill self assessment and sets personal goals appropriate to the training course/situation, then at a mid-point interval or after each session (if short program), the person re-assesses their skills (blind to initial score), assesses their progress, resets goals, and upon completion of the course/training, the participant re-assesses skills, progress, and goal achievement. Participant also provides peer and coach feedback and evaluation.
- In addition to setting personal goals with one's own (blinded) subsequent "self assessment" of those goals, the person would receive assessments from peers and coaches... in order to reduce "rigging" the system (where we all give each other high scores), specific feedback comments/ examples would be encouraged/necessary for outlying reports....
- each person's personal assessment would be internally calibrated to how they assess themselves relative to others. e.g. if they are overly high for others, but low for themselves (vice versa) or if they rate everyone on a higher evaluation that weight might be calibrated as "less" weighted in the other's final score. That calibration would be incorporated into their portfolio and Be Factor.
- with coaches also providing assessment the student's peer feedback can be assessed for its calibration with each other and the coaches
- the self/peer/coach feedback and calibrations, hopefully, enable surfacing and reducing the adverse impact of personal biases that might lead some people in a peer or supervisory role to unfairly "grade" a person whom they don't like and/or is different.
- collectively, these three sources of input, akin to the 360 review in corporate realm, provide the basis for a "skill portfolio" for each student. More than simply self assessment the external validation from peers/coaches makes the Be Well, Work Well a robust skill portfolio that a person can share for professional development and job situations.
- the Be Well portfolio could be uploaded to a "Work Well" public portfolio that one could post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Monster, other sites for job seekers
- ideally, it would be a core platform with open source developer tools so that other institutions/programs/NPOs could build their own portals from it and for a nominal fee, they could use the central components/metrics whose validity and value arise from its measurement across institutions and training programs.
- the application could/would provide a foundation for accreditation in disciplines that have not yet established credentialing mechanisms (mediation, interpersonal, leadership, ethics training, professionalism, conflict resolution, etc)
What Inspired You?
The opportunity to build leaders from the bottom up - create an application that can change the classroom paradigm and metrics to reflect something meaningful and enable people with non-traditionally measured, valuable skills the opportunity to advance! Most of all, to leverage technology to disrupt the status quo - create recognition/ valuing of invaluable life skills.
I realized that these vital life skills - self knowledge, communication, leadership, interpersonal, capacity for uncertainty/difference, and personal development - are not taught and the tools to evaluate them are wanting - most importantly, we need to cultivate this thirst for growth when people are young and to provide recognition and opportunities for people who have them in spades ... it's a habit that one can grow, so why not start early?!
What are you Looking For?
I am seeking to develop this technology as a component for an leadership program. I know there are a variety of other disciplines/areas that could benefit from it, though I don't envision a blockbuster tech endeavor. I am considering pulling this out of the grant application and developing this component as a separate, private technology project as I am skeptical that foundation funders would fund this kind of SE endeavor.
Thoughts on that are welcome. Developers who might be interested in scoping out and building the project. Funders who would support the initial costs until endeavor is launched and self funding.
Be Factor, Be Well, Work Well Credentialing Tool by
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