Thursday, December 21, 2006

Computer simulations and assessment

I've written before about the potential use of computer simulations for personnel selection.

Now the news is full of articles about organizations using simulations for training and investigating multi-user graphical environments for new employee orientation and mentoring.

The idea is pretty simple: candidates would navigate a 3d environment (with accessibility built in for those with disabilities) that mirrored as closely as possible the actual work environment. As the candidate moved around and made choices, the computer would collect data--about judgment, knowledge of content areas, interpersonal skills, etc. This data (their scores) would be stored and matched later to requirements of specific positions. It would be like video-based testing and modular testing, on steroids.

It's actually rather surprising more hasn't been done in this area considering how long sophisticated branching computer simulations have been around. Development costs are certainly an issue, but there are ways to deal with that (e.g., combining resources, developing in-house) and the challenges are not insurmountable.

I even have a name for it: choose your own job. After all, jobs are an adventure, right?

No comments: