Wednesday, December 14

Flawed Self-Assessment?

According to most studies, about 70% of what we learn is done informally. Yet according to other studies, peoples' notions about what they learn tend to correlate only 0.2 to 0.3 with performance.

If we cannot accurately assess ourselves, then how do we know we have mastered what we set out to do when we are learning informally?


jay said...

We see if we can accomplish the task we set out to learn how to do. This applies to assessing formal as well as informal learning since most tests produce invalid results.

Peter Isackson said...

A further consideration concerning testing is that the generally invalid results can have a perverse effect on performance. Good results can give the impression that there's nothing more to learn, leading to laziness, and bad results can give the impression that one hasn't learned anything or is incapable of learning, leading to discouragement and a learning block.

In any case, when we learn formally in order to perform tasks, we only learn key features or aspects of the task. There is always more to learn, especially about the contexts in which tasks are executed, including the actual effects of our performance (on people, things and processes). This is where informal learning pays off best.

By the way, isn't 70% a rather low figure?

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to hear more about the study that found the very low self-assessment to performance correlation. There is a significant difference between self-assessment done for pay purposes (e.g., year-end reviews), and self-assessment done for training and development purposes. Adult learners can be very accurate once they perceive or understand that there is a difference between their current level of proficiency, and the necessary level of proficiency (e.g., when a new technology is introduced into their workplace).

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised by your findings. I, too, conducted a self-assessment study of adult learners in an online learning environment in a government setting. Literature tells us that individuals using self-rating systems tend to rate themselves higher when self-assessing skills or knowledge. I experienced the same results as you. My study showed that while there was significance between self-directed learning skills and attitudes toward computers, actual performance of self-directed learning skills in an online learning environment was extremely low.

sanjay_india said...


sanjay_india said...

Donald question is universally true.
unfortunately it is equally true that the function of learning has attracted many fly by nights and the function itself has not been matured and aligned enough

But let me come back to donalds question and the answers posted.

I look at the question differently
first, 70% of learning that is done informally needs attention. Is the 30% done formally relatively shorter, more effective ?
what can we do to make the informally get better aligned to objectives. My own researched observation has been that informal learnings in many ways are what I call " drifted learnings".
just introspect the differences in pedagogy & andragogy. then peep into pedagogy and analyse the difference between a child that goes to school and a child who dos not go to school. Both are learning!
corelating with performance. performance is a moving target. Many dont realise that. If the target is moving then learning objectives need to move faster but by sharpening and not abandoning the shoot to another sport

this corelation can be dramatically improved if the various contenst are analysed more scientificaly rather than by how it is prevalent today by copy, cutting, stealing and applying just about anywhere.

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