The Adult Skills Assessment Program (ASAP) represents a revolution in adult education, educational assessment, and the integration of learning and assessment. In this project, our research team composed of national leaders in the assessment and validation of academic outcomes, technology, and adult literacy, will develop digital, personalized assessments that leverage technology to increase access, effectiveness, and meaningful opportunities to learn for adult learners.
The ASAP will result in digitally distributable online banks of assessment tasks in literacy, numeracy, and the intersection of these two domains; to serve the assessment needs of adult learners, adult educators, career counselors, and employers. No longer will these stakeholders be limited by test “forms,” or by requiring learners to come into educational or workplace settings to spend hours taking assessments.
ASAP assessments will be available on practically any digital device anywhere at any time, using brief assessment modules that can be taken in isolation or systematically pieced together to form larger assessments tailored to specific assessment goals. The focus of the ASAP is on the learner—the 21st-century adult learner—and addresses the myriad of assessment needs confronted by these learners as they pursue their educational and occupational goals.
The ASAP will (a) increase researchers’ understanding of how to reduce barriers to access technology-based assessments by incorporating universal design for learning principles – such as easy to use, click-and-point technology that does not require complicated test-taking skills or high-level literacy skills to take the tests or use the technology, (b) leverage the opportunities and affordances provided by the use of technology to assess critical skills in relation to increasing anytime anywhere access to the tasks, (c) use “process data” obtained from the tasks to learn more about adult learners’ competencies assessed through the tasks (e.g., additional indicators of learning potential, sources of errors in responding, task response time), and (d) flexibility of use through the development of underlying architecture of the assessments and how the assessment items link to the competencies assessed.