#244 – What is skill and how should we measure it?
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What’s in this episode?
What’s in this episode?
Welcome back listeners!
This week we’re back with our VocTech Podcast, this time looking at assessment and skills and thinking about what is skill and how should we measure it?
I’m in conversation with:
- Sharath Jeeven OBE, Intrinsic Labs,
- Abby Gilbert, Institute for the Future of Work,
- Amelia Peterson, The London Interdisciplinary School,
- Christopher Mallet, Bodyswaps and
- Jessica Blakey, Head of Assessment Innovation, NCFE
We talk about:
- What we don’t want from assessment any more and the more nefarious applications of assessment in the workplace
- How we can think more broadly about skills and motivation
- What new approaches are out there
- How new innovation is being funded and supported
You’ll also hear about event and grant funding updates.
Tell us your story
Record a quick free voicemail via speakpipe for inclusion in the next episode. Or you can post your thoughts or follow-on links via Twitter @podcastedtech or via The Edtech Podcast Facebook page or Instagram. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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Sharath is one of the world’s leading experts on re-igniting our inner drive (intrinsic motivation). His groundbreaking book “Intrinsic” has received glowing endorsements ranging from leading smart-thinking writers like Dan Heath and Nir Eyal, to business and education leaders to the former Prime Minister of Greece.Sharath was awarded an OBE in the 2022 Queen’s New Year’s Honours for founding and leading STiR Education, arguably the world’s largest intrinsic motivation initiative. STIR re-ignited the motivation of 200,000 teachers, 35,000 schools and 7 million children in emerging countries.Sharath is the Executive Chairman of Intrinsic Labs, which supports organisations and leaders all around the world to solve deep motivational challenges, from governments to leading universities and high-profile corporations, from L’Oreal to the London School of Economics.
His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Economist, The Telegraph. Financial Times. NPR, CNN, CNBC, The Hindustan Times and The Times of India.
An accomplished speaker, Sharath has delivered talks and workshops to share the ideas from “Intrinsic” with influential audiences including the World Health Organisation (WHO), Cambridge University, Daimler, Amazon and the World Economic Forum.
Sharath holds degrees from Cambridge University, Oxford University and INSEAD. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his contributions to the field and was invited to serve on the high-level steering group of the Education Commission, the pre-eminent global think tank founded by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Visit intrinsic-labs.com to find out more about Sharath and his work.
In her role, Abby conducts research to understand how technology is changing the world of work, and seek to influence and shape future policy with the findings to promote a fairer future of better work through technological transition.
What’s the biggest myth or foe in education or technology you would like to see corrected?
“A default assumption that technology delivers productivity, and the hidden labour behind technological advances. ‘Cognitive’ technologies are often augmenting workers, somewhere, who deliver value but are not adequately rewarded for it.”
Amelia is a social scientist with a background in policy and consulting. Amelia studies education reforms and their relationship to social, geographic and labour market inequalities. Prior to LIS, Amelia was an LSE Fellow in Social Policy. She has also taught and supervised students at the University of Bristol and at Harvard, where she received her PhD.
“LIS has created a ground-breaking curriculum that respects the importance of disciplines but explicitly teaches students how to connect, integrate and apply them to complex problems. That’s the frontier of knowledge we need to crack today and I could not be more excited to be working on it.”
Christophe is an Innovation Strategist with over 12 years experience across Digital, Social and Immersive Technologies (XR). Following a decade spent between digital strategy consultancy Carve and award-winning VR agency Somewhere Else, Paris-born Christophe co-founded Bodyswaps with one mission: upskill tomorrow’s workforce to make them ready for the future of work. Chris is an international speaker and regular podcaster on VR and Education. He has delivered talks for organizations like International Labor Organization or the European Training Foundation and has been a University Guest Lecturer in London and Geneva.
Jessica Blakey is Head of Assessment Innovation at NCFE, having previously trained as a French teacher in South Shields near Newcastle. She has worked in teacher education and research, and recently worked NCFE’s T Level assessments before stepping up to work in assessment innovation.
“I want to achieve change in the way we assess learners through evidence based disruption in education. At NCFE we have committed £1 million of funding through our Assessment Innovation Fund to explore ways to achieve exactly that. This, in conjunction with our own focused action research, is leading to real change in the way NCFE approach thinking about the learner’s journey.”
Sophie is the founder of the iTunes new and noteworthy, The Edtech Podcast. The mission of The Edtech Podcast is to improve the dialogue between ‘ed’ and ‘tech’ for better innovation, through storytelling. The podcast is downloaded from over 145 countries with the UK, US & Aus in the top 3. Sophie has spoken and moderated at a variety of events including SXSW EDU, Yidan Education Prize, ASU GSV Summit, and the Next Billion Edtech Summit. She is an industry mentor and advisor, a Reimagine Education, GESA Awards, Bett Awards and XPrize Adult Literacy judge, and previous Edtech50 and Edtech Digest winner.
Sophie is passionate about lifelong and everyday learning. If she’s not interviewing a University Vice-Chancellor, Edtech Investor, School Leader, or StartUp about education innovation, she’s engrossed in Teach Your Monster to Read or wrestling her lockdown baby. A keen cyclist, she has recently relocated to West Devon which she considers the English version of the Pyrenees. She is very lucky to work with a distributed team on The Edtech Podcast. She is now building WorkTripp.
Quotes from this episode
“We need a profoundly human experience. The measurement game is a game we are going to lose whichever way we play it, so I’d prefer if we just give up that game altogether.”– Sharath Jeeven OBE, Intrinsic Labs
“A good question to ask is…Is the preparation that you do for an assessment going to help you more generally?” – Dr. Amelia Peterson, Founding Faculty at LIS: The London Interdisciplinary School
References from this week’s episode
- The VocTech Podcast Series – Link to past episodes
- NCFE’s innovation in assessment fund – opens in August 2022
- Ufi VocTech Seed Grant Fund (open on 15th June)
- Ufi & Tyton Partners Drinks at London Edtech Week (21 June)
- EdtechX registration. Discount code for EdtechX for listeners: ETX22PODCAST40
- Intrinsic – the book
- APPG on the future of work
- Institute for the Future of Work
- The Future of Work: Jobs and Skills in 2030 – GOV.UK
- Amazonian Era: the gigification of work – IFOW
- Mckinsey assessment game, Solve, powered by Imbellus – interestingly, lots of “hack the system” prep videos for this for candidates by third parties
- Ben Weidmann, Harvard University David J. Deming, Harvard University and NBER1 on new models of assessing team work
- Psychological safety is the determining factor of team success. How do you measure it?
- NCFE Assessment Innovation Fund Pilots
Thank you to the Ufi Voctech Trust
Our aim is to help improve vocational skills in the UK’s workforce by funding digital solutions for vocational learning. We only fund activity that is ‘scalable’ through technology, ie projects that use digital methods to widen access to vocational learning. While digital learning solutions are potentially open to all, we are especially keen to assist digital projects which involve post-school age vocational learners that have failed to be engaged by the education system.
Tell us where you are listening in from
We’d love to hear about innovative technology or approaches you are developing or using in adult education. Leave your stories in the comments below. Alternately, record a quick free voicemail via speakpipe for inclusion in the next episode. Finally, you can post your thoughts or follow-on links via Twitter @podcastedtech or via The Edtech Podcast Facebook page.