About Wonderlic, Inc:
For more information, please also see our blog posting on competency-based badging.
Michael Callans, VP of Research & Development
Amanda Opperman, Institutional and Program Effectiveness Specialist
John Moye, Marketing Manager
Individuals who would like the opportunity to earn job-specific digital badges in their fields of study can do so by completing the Wonderlic Measures of Vocational Proficiencies (MVPs). (We currently only offer content for allied health and criminal justice. We expect to complete our business administration content by the end of this 2015.) The value of the Wonderlic digital badges stems directly from the trust that Wonderlic has established with employers and the quality of the MVPs, as we rely on these assessments to determine whether an individual is qualified to earn a badge. The MVPs have been designed by an experienced team of psychometricians, instructional designers, and test authors who are committed to the validity and reliability of this badge-awarding tool.
Our MVP assessments are hosted on our online platform. MVPs are untimed, but typically take one hour to complete. Once a test-taker completes an MVP, their results are available immediately for viewing. Included in these results are the badges that the student is eligible for. Wonderlic works with a third-party proctoring service to verify the security of the MVPs and with BadgeCert to authenticate the credentials of each badge the test-taker is eligible for. The badge verification process takes between 3 and 10 business days to complete.
Thousands of career educators and employers rely on Wonderlic assessments to make the best candidate selection and placement decisions. Many of these organizations contribute to our efforts to build MVPs that align educational outcomes with employer expectations. Our blend of educator/employer relationships, assessment expertise and experience addressing school-to-work challenges makes Wonderlic uniquely capable of delivering MVPs. At the onset of the MVPs development process, the Wonderlic test development team collects an enormous amount of information from accreditation guidelines, certification exam topics, school curricula, and textbooks to create an assessment matrix. Every program, position or job has its own matrix, and this matrix serves as a kind of blueprint to outline and articulate the job-specific competencies that should be measured. This matrix is reviewed by subject matter experts from the field of career education and by employers themselves.
Each assessment unit of the MVPs measures a job-specific competency, and if the test-taker demonstrates mastery on the items in the module, they will be awarded a digital badge. This digital badge can be displayed on any online venue, and it must be clicked on and opened up to verify its authenticity. When a user clicks on the digital badge, it connects them to the badge certification site where the description of the badge, the recipient of the badge, the issuer of the badge, the expiration date of the badge, and other verifying credentials are housed. This is something that cannot be copy and pasted; it functions as a live link, so if the user clicks on the badge and it does not connect to the certification site, then they know that badge is not valid. This is quicker than other forms of evidence such as requesting official, sealed transcripts from a college or calling on references, as those methods can take days or even weeks to complete.
Badges are earned by demonstrating mastery on the Wonderlic Measures of Vocational Proficiencies (MVPs). The Wonderlic test development team utilizes the Wonderlic Test Authoring Tool to create test items that measure mastery of content in the most relevant manner – in other words, the items measure an individual’s ability to apply knowledge rather than simply recall information. The modules include a variety of interactive questions to try and get as close to real-life situations as possible. For example, if the topic at hand is measuring heart rate, the module might include an audio sample of heart beats that the test taker must use in order to answer. Each MVP assessment offers test-takers the chance to earn roughly 8-10 digital badges. In each badge category, there are anywhere from 8 to 15 interactive, scenario-based test items the test-taker must complete to demonstrate mastery and to earn a badge.
Our greatest challenge in developing our badge system was in determining the level of security and verification we would require for awarding our badges. There are a wide variety of perspectives about how an assessment should be monitored, how test-takers’ identities should be verified, when a digital badge should expire, etc. Our team consulted with one another and collaborated with numerous third parties to inform our decision. In the end, we decided to spare no expense and go with the highest level of security and the most rigorous verification mechanisms. We knew that the credibility of the badge and its worth to our badge recipients relied on the level of security and trust that employers had in the authenticity of our badges.
Rolling out the MVPs and digital badges in career services departments as a job placement tool is the first phase of Wonderlic’s badge system. Subsequent phases include utilizing the MVPs and digital badges for prior learning assessment, implementing the MVPs and digital badges in the hiring process of employers that we have direct relationships with, and including the MVPs and digital badges on college applications and community college transfer student applications. Wonderlic has worked directly with employers to for 73 years and is an expert in employability. For the past 30 years, Wonderlic has been committed to using this expertise in the field of employability to assist postsecondary institutions. The long-term goal of the Wonderlic badge system is to bridge the gap between higher ed and employers, so that the college to career path is clear for our nation’s future workforce.