Proof of Tech Skills: Everybody’s Doing It!
When it comes to professional upward mobility, it’s looking like assessments are where it’s at. According to a recent article in TechCrunch.com, even LinkedIn is getting into the assessment game.
“LinkedIn, the social networking service for the working world, is today taking the wraps off its latest effort to provide its users with better tools for presenting their professional selves, and to make the process of recruitment on the platform more effective. It will now offer a new feature called Skills Assessments: short, multiple-choice tests that users can take to verify their knowledge in areas like computer languages, software packages and other work-related skills.”
In some ways, the legal industry is ahead of this curve. Ever since the American Bar Association updated their Model Rules in 2012 to include technological competency as a requirement for providing ethical representation to clients, the industry has been grappling with ways to assess lawyer’s tech skills. This has been, overall, a positive development for the industry.
But in other ways, the legal industry lags behind the curve. Whereas LinkedIn’s assessments will help professionals prove their competency in various skills prior to getting hired, the legal industry is trying to retroactively bring attorneys’ skills up to competency, sometimes after these attorneys have been practicing for decades. It can be a long slog. Firms are also looking to bring staff skill levels up but typically there are fewer challenges on that road - as long as the firm embraces a learning culture and education-related tools, like an LMS.
Luckily, organizations like Procertas have taken the bull by the horns and have developed assessments that directly correlate to tech skills that attorneys must master to provide competent representation. Attorneys can receive certifications in these skills, helping them to prove to their clients that they won’t make costly mistakes. And, to be honest, these skills aren’t all that high-tech. Instead, they assess things like Word mastery and even whether attorneys know how to redact a document properly. (A skill whose importance was highlighted in a recent case.)
Assessments Come Standard at Savvy Training & Consulting
At Savvy, we have always believed that assessments must be administered throughout a learning program. Not only does it help a learner prove his or her mastery of a skill, but it assures that a trainer won’t bore or frustrate learners by assigning inappropriate materials.
Clients who utilize the SavvySMART Content Library (SSCL), which comes standard with all SavvyAcademy Learning Management System (LMS) subscriptions, have access to off-the-shelf, customizable assessments, such as:
The SavvySMART Content Library includes Baseline Assessments for iManage Work 10, Worldox GX4, NetDocuments, Adobe Acrobat X Pro & Pro DC, Nuance Power PDF, and all the Office products (Outlook, Word, Excel, PPT) for 2010, 2013 and 2016.
Using those baseline results, administrators can create (or have Savvy help recommend and create) customized learning paths for each of their users with courses from the SSCL that correspond to areas/questions missed in the baseline assessments.
Using the LMS “Exam Builder,” administrators can edit, include, not include or add their own questions to the standard baseline assessments to accommodate their firm’s protocols and unique workflows.
Quizzes at the end of each tutorial or learning path offer another assessment opportunity, and administrators in the portals have full control to customize these questions and to customize how they would like to control the learning process, such as:
Number of attempts required to pass the quiz
Feedback that is shown and when or if they want it shown
If the quiz should be timed
If answers should be shown after a learner clicks submit
If learners can download a PDF of the quiz
If the course owner should receive a copy of the quiz once a learner finished it
As far as best practices, we recommend that administrators conduct assessments when they first launch the Savvy LMS. From those results, they can assign customized learning paths and give learners one to two months to complete those paths. Then, administrators can evaluate quiz results and, at around the six-month mark, run another baseline assessment to see what information was retained and what information needs to be re-enforced.
Our experience has shown that assessments not only help people to learn more efficiently, but they also save time (a hot commodity in law firms). Baseline assessments allow trainers to target specific areas or features that a learner needs more assistance or knowledge on, without making them spend un-needed time on features they already know.
Savvy Brings More Value to the Law Firm Assessment Process
In addition to standardized, customizable assessments, when firms subscribe to the Savvy LMS and SSCL, they gain the Savvy team as a resource for assisting with post-assessment assignments and even customized paths and quizzes. The Savvy experts are always on-deck to help firm administrators do more with their learning program.
If you’re struggling to figure out how to evaluate your firm’s training needs, contact Savvy today. We’d be happy to listen to your challenges and suggest assessments that will take your training program to the next level.