New Ways to Measure 21st Century Skills and Beyond

Hiring organizations and academic institutions increasingly recognize that workplace and educational success depends on a multitude of interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies, as well as the traditionally expected set of cognitive skills.

Typically more challenging to assess, these so-called noncognitive or “soft” skills include everything from work ethic, teamwork and emotional competence to time management, integrity, resilience and intercultural competence.

ProExam’s Center for Innovative Assessments helps clients develop new ways to accurately measure noncognitive skills. The Center serves ProExam’s traditional clients (i.e., those involved in the licensure and certification process), as well as new markets that traverse the educational and workplace sectors.

Led by Richard D. Roberts, PhD, ProExam Vice President and Chief Scientist

Vice President and Chief Scientist Richard D. Roberts, PhDDr. Roberts brings a background in both academics and industry to the Center. A former National Research Council Fellow, he has conducted extensive research on cognitive and noncognitive assessment, emotional intelligence, cognitive biases, intercultural competence, personality, health and well-being, motivation, aging and human chronotype (morningness-eveningness) in disciplines as diverse as education, business and wind engineering. He has published more than a dozen books and over 150 peer-reviewed articles or book chapters on cognitive and noncognitive assessment, and has made nearly 400 presentations across the globe.

The Center focuses on:

  • Identifying a wide range of business and education-relevant noncognitive skills, including time management, shiftwork adaptability, intercultural competence and empathy that impact these important life domains.
  • Using innovative methodologies to develop measures to assess noncognitive skills, including those traditionally considered difficult to measure, such as emotional competence, cognitive bias and opportunity to learn.
  • Conducting basic and applied research to provide validity evidence for noncognitive skills assessments and ensure they align with workplace and educational outcomes.
  • Developing techniques and procedures for enhancing noncognitive skills.