What is the science behind The Snapshot?

Character Skills Snapshot
August 20, 2023
September 20, 2021

In 2015, The Enrollment Management Association’s Think Tank on the Future of Assessment was established to create a conversation about 21st century admission and the needs of enrollment managers during their selection process. Having studied current research and interviewed numerous experts in the field of noncognitive assessment, they produced two seminal reports and were instrumental in the creation of The Character Skills Snapshot. The recommendations of the Think Tank resulted in the creation of an innovative tool called, The Character Skills Snapshot.

In order to confirm that the skills measured by The Character Skills Snapshot encompassed a wide range of noncognitive concepts, EMA reviewed several existing noncognitive conceptual frameworks. A framework is a real or conceptual structure intended to serve as a support or guide for the building of something that expands the structure into something useful. The purpose of selecting a guiding framework was to ensure we did not leave out a major component when assessing a student’s character.

The framework selected for our guiding conceptual structure comes from support from the U.S. National Science Foundation. In collaboration with private foundations, the National Research Council (2012) conducted a series of workshops leading to a committee report relevant to the identification of noncognitive skills. The report, Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century, defined a set of key skills referred to as “21st century skills,” to describe how noncognitive skills lead to success in education and work. 

Utilizing a rather simple organization, the report categorizes skills into three major domains: cognitive/ intellectual, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. The cognitive/Intellectual Domain maps to The Snapshot skills of intellectual engagement and open-mindedness. The Intrapersonal Domain maps to The Snapshot skills teamwork and social awareness. The Interpersonal Domain maps to The Snapshot skills resilience, self-control, and initiative.

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