Self Assessment

Self Assessment is a method of internal evaluation and learning. It is of particular value in domains, such as engagement, where there is not necessarily a clear idea of what is being assessed: that is people may be working with a range of purposes and a variety of perspectives. It allows for a collaborative process in which the various goals or component parts of what is being assessed are identified and then a series of questions are set for each goal to measure progress towards it. These are typically then answered on a scale (such as 1-5) and the results mapped either onto a river diagram  or a spider diagram. In some examples, the questions are asked twice once under the heading 'extent currently utilised' and also as 'extent should be utilised'. This then gives some indication of the level of understanding and buy-in to the value of the aspect of the activity covered by each question. As an exercise that can be periodically repeated, it can also be used as a method of comparison over time, which may indicate organisational development or shifting priorities.

Following the work of Geoff Parcell and Chris Collinson (see referenced content), this is a method which has been widely used to assess knowledge management or sharing.  I have witnessed a variant being used to map the nuclear knowledge management capacity at IAEA. It does offer a consistent and comparable way of assessing capabilities and processes which are otherwise be hard to measure. However, its role is equally important as a tool for collaboration and reflection as the process of first selecting and then answering the questions opens a number of conversations which can deepen understanding of what is being attempted in the domain being assessed and why. As such, adapted to focus on aspects of engagement practice (with questions perhaps grouped round the key headings of the topic map), it might serve as a useful tool for AAPs to assess their current practice with engagement and think if and how they would like to see it develop.


Content type: Engagement
Library and Knowledge Services Evidence and Knowledge Self-Assessment Tool
Parcell, Geoff 2010 No More Consultants: we know more than we think