3 Answers

  1. This is a very, very interesting question! And I've been thinking about it for years. Honestly, after studying pedagogy, pedagogical psychology and testology (this is about creating tests) I've come to some conclusions. But I'm afraid that the answer is not interesting: NO way.

    If we had such assessment tools, then there would be no need for any international university rankings or, say, the need for state final certification in schools and the same universities. In fact, in the field of competency assessment, nothing more than new is emerging right now.

    1. Testing. Its objectivity is ensured by the fact that the assessment does not depend on any particular person/teacher (errors of the observer and attitude are leveled). The disadvantages of testing in the field of knowledge assessment are well known. A person's chain of inferences may be correct, but the answer itself may be incorrect. In this case, it is evaluated in the same way as just an incorrect answer or “guessing game”. However, there are a number of very serious tests that indicate a high level of competence of a person (for example, the first level of CFA – �Chartered Financial Analyst).

    2. Oral exam. This is essentially a variant of peer review. Knowledgeable people (teachers) are gathered, whose competence is known and demonstrated. They listen to the person's response, ask additional questions for understanding. And they make their verdict in the form of a mark. Here it is possible to clarify, minimize misunderstandings, and weed out people who are not ready at all. But there are also many disadvantages: observer errors, specific relationships between the teacher and the exam taker (likes/dislikes/other). In addition, this type of exam is very difficult for introverts and people with a low level of stress tolerance. They can be perfectly prepared and objectively know a lot, but in such specific stressful conditions they will get lost.

    3. Written exam. There are problems here again. There are people who speak well, but write poorly. In a written work, you can not give all the explanations. For many areas of study and knowledge, the written exam is poor from a content point of view.

    4. Performance indicators.

    4.1. Scientific. For example, scientists really liked all sorts of numeric indexes. Like the Hirsch Index (how many published articles you have and how often they are cited). Everyone liked such things very much, because it immediately became possible to compare scientists working in different content areas. But there are also a lot of critics of such indicators. If translated into the language of social networks: how often your posts are liked and reposted does not indicate their quality and does not allow you to compare some posts with others. It all depends on the content.�

    Often, the level of the journal where it is published is considered an indicator of the quality of a scientist's work. Its rating and impact factor are also shown. But this is something from the category in which public your memes were published (how many subscribers, how many likes, how many reposts). Such indicators should be treated critically, because they are important, but still conditional. An article can often be cited, not because it is good, but as an example of blatant illiteracy (for example).

    4.2. Practical. In some cases, measured productivity can be used. The logic is that if a person has good training and a higher level of knowledge, then they work better. But measuring work productivity is a separate issue. What metrics to use and how to register them… For example, the level of sales, can it be considered an indicator of the level of knowledge of a sales manager? Or a marketer? Maybe sales growth is caused by seasonal factors, a random chain of recommendations, or something else. And if the specialty is not related to sales? Here is an objective assessment of the level of knowledge and skills of the doctor? Even the best surgeons do not save everyone during operations (i.e., the mortality rate is important, but again not completely objective).

    4.3. Creative. People of creative professions display the results of their work in the form of paintings, sculptures, art objects, and illustrations. But how to evaluate them? How to distinguish an amateur from a talent? This is again a difficult question of art criticism, and again you need serious training to understand where and what. This is of practical use in auctions. You can often find on social networks a reproduction of a painting, the price for which it was sold, and a caption like: “I can do this too, where is my money”. This is about the level of competence. Photographers have a portfolio that also tells you a lot about their skill level. But there is no question of any objective assessment here.

    5. Self-assessment. You are trying to look at your colleagues and other professionals (or students) and compare yourself with them. As one of the options, it deserves attention. But the problem of objectivity here is very acute. First, it is impossible to evaluate yourself objectively. Secondly, you need to have a high level of competence to understand what is important for the assessment and what is not. And if a person is just starting to master the area? What if he thinks he knows everything, but doesn't really know anything? (the Daning-Kruger effect).

    6. Formal confirmations. Diplomas, certificates, and titles. The logic here is that if a person tried hard and received confirmation, then there was something to confirm. Again, it would be nice, but we all know how deceptive documents can sometimes be.

    Resume. I hope that I was able to show how difficult it is to assess a person's level of education. And how far we are from any objectivity in this area. In fact, the most appropriate method is expert evaluation. That is, you need to communicate with knowledgeable people (in the form of scientists, teachers, senior colleagues) and ask them to give feedback on the results of their activities (academic or work). Each expert will be subjective, but in total you will be able to get an idea of your level. This, of course, is not what we would like in terms of certainty…. But what can I do?

  2. Objectively means in isolation from your own judgments about yourself? We will assume that the author did not mean the level of education (bachelor/master/candidate, etc.), but something general that characterizes knowledge/skills/talents, etc. Let's try it.

    In mathematics, there is such a clownish indicator as the Erdos Number�- the minimum chain of co-authorships from you to Erdos (like the minimum chain of handshakes from you to some other person, but this is not a handshake, but a co-authorship). Shows how close you were to the prolific mathematician Erdos.�

    You can use an analogy to calculate the distance from you to the most educated people in your region (country/world). If you communicate directly with them (not familiar, namely “communicate”) – distance 1. If you have friends who communicate directly, then distance 2. Etc. It is clear that you will not be able to calculate exactly, but you can definitely estimate it from above.

    Since educated people usually communicate with people of a similar level of education, this indicator will give some kind of “objective” assessment from below.

  3. It's strange that you should have such a question. People are usually honest with themselves. It is enough to simply assess how much better or worse you are than your peers in a particular field; if you are more than twenty-one years old, then as a rule, people in this range already have a higher education and are starting to work. But if you didn't finish high school, just look at yourself from the outside. Can you do the things you want to do ?

Leave a Reply