What Muppet are you? What is your spiritual animal? Are you more of a dorky dolphin or a sly fox? For most students personality tests are a fun way to procrastinate during those library sessions before exams. The reason we’re calling this procrastination rather than personal insight is that the vast majority of personality tests on the internet bare no relation to academic attainment.
However, personality testing is getting serious. Far, far away over the rainbow in Graduate Country over 90% of companies are using psychometrics for various purposes. Psychometric technology is increasingly common as a recruitment tool but post-hiring employers also use it specifically for leadership and personal development. Expensive coaches use psychometrics to help employers perform better, guide them in their development and training, tailoring to their strengths.
In education we don’t prepare students for the psychometrics used in the hiring process even though this is the first test they will face after graduation. More importantly than the technical interface that they will come face to face with is the need to understand their talents and what they alone can do in this world. In a world where graduates are beginning to blend into each other on paper who you are as a person, and how you relate to others suddenly matters, and being able to articulate this has never been more important. Well-validated and easily accessible psychometric indicators should be an essential part of both university teaching and the wider aspects of higher education.
But more importantly, students also don’t make use of the fantastic potential these tools have as ways to improve self awareness and the branches of personal development that extend beyond growing out the lopsided haircut that seemed just so cool in first year. This is part of the mission of Potential.ly an innovative edtech startup.
Potential.ly began life as a series of algorithms that were used by lecturer Dr Norbert Morawetz to pair up students who’s learning styles truly complimented each other, rather than just letting students work with their friends or the person next to them. The product evolved as more academics and students got involved, bringing real life expertise. The visually appealing, easily understood and psychologically sound indicator the company now offers grew up as the team realised the need for a tool that could help universities understand their students, and those students understand themselves and articulate their skills and traits. The myth of a student’s time at university being ‘the best years of your life’ is well and truly busted in a new age of vast fees and no graduate job opportunities. The competition has intensified at every stage for universities and students, with the former needing to offer something extra and the later needing to be able to distinguish themselves.
Beyond the classroom this information can be just as useful for matching up future flat mates as to developing employability skills. Personal development will never entirely replace a pint with your mates in the pub but the skills and knowledge to find the right job for you or sell yourself in an interview setting are increasingly what time at university is all about for students, and the best universities will be the ones that step up to the challenge of providing this.
This tool can also be used in pastoral care with students to work on their personal development. Tutors become coaches with the help of the tool and can better understand their students and tailor their teaching to the learning needs of the people in front of them.
Is your university up to this? Answer our short personality test: what kind of university are you?
Do you care about your students’ employability?
A) Not really = 0
B) Yes, it influences our league table results = 1
C) I think the hallmark of a good education is that it grows the person as well as the knowledge = 2
Are you using technology/psychometrics?
A) Psychometrics are basically horoscopes = 0
B) If it is what’s being used, we have to be pragmatic = 1
C) Of course, we’re all about learning and adapting to help our students = 2
If you scored
0: School for Dinosaurs
The students who went to your school have become extinct. Is it time to start looking for a new role?
1-2: School of Realists
You take a pragmatic approach and appear to be living in the real world. Technology serves a purpose. Get in touch and let have a chat.
3-4: School of Innovators
You care and you see the potential. Get in touch with us to become a partner and benefit from early access to new tech and also feature in case studies.
For more info contact Ottilie Thornhill @ottilie_ottilie @PotentiallyCo