Study skills fall into the category of “soft skills,” as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration. Soft skills are the problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills that a person employs. They are perhaps best defined as the opposite of “hard skills,” which are the technical skills required to complete a job.
Because the nature of “soft skills” is very personal and somewhat invisible, assessment can be challenging. However, the Multi-Media Teacher’s Guide provides a variety of assessment options that represent different aspects of this unique learning process:
-Study Skills Scorecard
-Study Skills Assessment Matrix
Assessment: Study Skills Scorecard
The first lesson of the MMTG includes a Study Skills Scorecard that allows students to rate their current level of “study savvy” in the context of 34 common problems related to homework, studying, and organizing. Each problem is followed by a 5-point Likert scale for students to evaluate themselves.
The items from this Scorecard are then integrated into the SOAR® program. Each lesson of the MMTG begins by introducing specific items from the Study Skills Scorecard that the lesson will address. At the end of each lesson, students will be prompted to review the homework problems from the scorecard and describe the solutions they have just learned to address those problems.
At the conclusion of the program, you will be prompted to administer the Study Skills Scorecard a second time to compare students’ responses and develop a quantitative measurement of progress. This process also gives students an opportunity to compare their “before” and “after” responses and reflect upon how much they have learned throughout the course.
The Study Skills Scorecard is provided in a reproducible format and also as an electronic survey that will calculate student responses for you. See Lesson 1 for more details about the Study Skills Scorecard.
This assessment measures the change in students’ attitudes, perceptions, and skills from the beginning of the SOAR® program to the conclusion of the course.
Assessment: Constructed Response
A constructed response assessment is provided for each lesson. These assessments encourage students to reflect on each lesson and describe, in their own words, the specific study skills and strategies they learned from each lesson.
This assessment measures students’ comprehension of the content of the program.
Assessment: The Exit Presentation
The Exit Presentation is a final assessment and is provided as a reproducible rubric. This presentation will prompt students to reflect on their newly developed skills, provide evidence to demonstrate their progress throughout the course, and explore the potential impact that study skills can continue to play in their lives.
This assessment evaluates students’ knowledge of the content and their appreciation for how the content is (and will be) applicable to their lives.
Assessment: Study Skills Assessment Matrix
A significant part of developing study skills is the process of simply employing the strategies that students have learned. A Study Skills Progress Checklist is provided to monitor planner usage, binder organization, book-bag and locker organization, use of the note-taking strategy, use of the 3-D writing organizer, etc. throughout the course and allows you to assign a point-value for effective employment of these strategies on an on-going basis. The checklist is provided as a Word document so you can add or delete columns to increase/decrease the frequency of each evaluation.
The Assessment Matrix provides space for teachers to record evaluations for the application of strategies, the practice items in the student book, the Lesson Reviews, and the Exit Presentation.
This assessment monitors the specific implementation and application of the strategies taught in the program.
Assessment: Grade Tracking
For long-term assessment, we suggest you compile and track students’ grades for: two or more card-markings prior to learning the SOAR® Study Skills system, the card-marking(s) in which students are participating in the program, and for two or more card-markings following the program.
This assessment measures the long-term impact of the study skills program.