Talk:Aptitude test

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The following discussion was copied from the Colloquium and gives information on how and why this project started. It ends with "In Summation".

Aptitude Tests[edit]

I would like to see an aptitude test/s as a service of Wikiversity. Along with what will - hopefully - be an unlimited opporuntiy for learing, people may like to know what their aptitudes are in addition to their interests, in order to focus their resources. It should be free and anonymous. If offered, I'll be among the first to use it. Thank you. --Shir-El too 23:48, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Would these be just general "you would be good in the ZZZ field", or are you talking about actual tests that would be done to show knowledge of a particular course/subject? Historybuff 18:35, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

General tests. The thought is that people (myself included) may like to know more about their own abilities and talents: aptitudes. Knowledge is acquired with greater or lesser effort; aptitudes are already present.

If the rational of any 'university' is to produce a 'universal' wo/man, what about a tool to let each one discover more of their innate abilities, so that they can develop them? Many conventional education systems and methods suppress or handicap the individual for the sake of the group. Here, no individual need be penalized and, ideally, the group becomes a dynamic learning environment that enriches each of its members, rather than bridling them. Shir-El too 02:38, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Rather than emphasize areas where people are already talented, an alternative is to just encourage people to explore anything they are interested in. --JWSchmidt 14:51, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
If someone had the motivation, desire and know-how to create an aptitude test I have no reason to believe that it would not be fully encouraged and appreciate by both those who would use it and those who would not. There is the quiz extension somewhere around here; maybe that could be hacked. Alternatively, tests can be made so that the taker scores the test on their own and compares the resultant score to a key which explains what the score means. Developing such a test on Wikiversity, that actually is useful and has validity, would be an interesting learning endeavor on its own. --Remi 08:15, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Remi - I was beginning to think I was a majority of one! Where is the quiz you mention? ...tests can be made so that the taker scores the test on their own and compares the resultant score to a key which explains what the score means. * I've seen two of these on the e-mail rounds: one supposedly authored by a personnel department, the other a Chinese 'spiritual' test; both were remarkably accurate as to personality traits. I'll see if I saved copies; if so, where should I send them? * Perhaps the Psychology Department would adopt this as a project? (I have the interest, not the nohow).
BTW: in response to JWSchmidt's comments: WV will make it possible for anyone to learn nearly anything. I know too many people who's true talents have gone unremarked or suppressed because of envy, stupidity and/or lack of resources. Why not give everyone a tool to discover the flowers and diamonds inside themselves? Shir-El too 13:26, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm skeptical about the idea that people have hidden "true talents" that can be efficiently revealed by an aptitude test. For every person who might benefit from an aptitude test how many will be harmed? Aptitude tests skew the entire educational landscape by creating false beliefs about the limited domain the test measures.....people come to believe, without evidence, that the test is a valid measure of what is important to people. Rather than explore their real interests, students are forced to conform to the test. Aptitude tests tell us interesting things about the beliefs of the people who make the tests as well as those who are willing to use the tests to label people with a number and then happily treat people as a number. The aptitude testing industry is a powerful device for social engineering. We now have a well-developed system that selects for people who can efficiently learn and repeat what they are told, without question. We are now seeing the fruits of this system: corporate and government employees who are happy to do any illegal or unethical task without questioning their masters. I'm skeptical about the idea that aptitude tests are the best way to use wiki technology to help students discover and explore their learning goals. Historically, aptitude testing has been shaped as a tool for the factory education system where the individual student conforms to the system. Wiki technology provides a way for individuals to function as self-directed and active collaborators in explorations of educational opportunities. The question becomes, is an aptitude test the best tool Wikiversity can provide or is it a distraction from better options? --JWSchmidt 15:12, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Dear Sir or Madam,

“Sometimes the hardest part of science is escaping from what we think we know and finding ways to open out thinking to new ideas.”

By and large I agree with you, and I would continue to agree if any of the parameters you so heatedly and justifiably resent were applicable to what has been suggested so far. It was not my intent to lock horns with a Custodian less than 10 days after joining WV, nor to stir up unpleasant associations. Nonetheless your objections deserve a response.

1. I would rather know more about myself than less; even if it is only by what standards others have judged me. Why should I deny myself the same information that is already available to every Joe Schmo employer, review board, admittance committee, etc.???

2. Since any such test would be (a) anonymous and (b) voluntary, no one could be “forced to conform to the test.”

3. The question is not “is an aptitude test the best tool Wikiversity can provide...” since no one has made that claim. The question is: is anyone interested in such a tool to enhance their efforts?

4. If, as you believe, aptitude testing lies at the root of so much abuse, then what about a project to reverse-engineer such tests? The tests can only work so long as we are ignorant of the methods and purpose...

Very truly yours, Shir-El too 00:23, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

  • I was stimulated by Remi's comment about having aptitude testing at Wikiversity: "I have no reason to believe that it would not be fully encouraged and appreciate by both those who would use it and those who would not". There is a rather large published literature that can be described as on-going discussion and debate over the benefits and problems associated with aptitude testing.....I view my critical comments about aptitude testing (above) as a way to bring that long-running debate into the Wikiversity project. Does "locking horns" have anything to do with this discussion? Wikiversity is open to a wide range of approaches to using wiki technology to support learners. I've voiced my concerns about aptitude testing and you are free to go ahead and develop some form of aptitude testing at Wikiversity. What exactly do you mean by "reverse-engineer such tests" and what benefits do you think might come from it? --JWSchmidt 02:19, 31 August 2007 (UTC)


Please bear in mind that I am none technical/academic: as I understand the term "reverse-engineering", in this case it would mean studying the techniques and culteral biases used, then describing and publishing them in laymens terms to be accesable to the broadest possible public. The benefits? As you pointed out, analysing such tests would reveal as much about the tester as the testee. My stake in this? Firstly, I would like to know more about myself. Secondly, if I have been pigeon-holed in the past, I'd like to know what someone else thinks they know about me.
I'm also delighted to know 'locking horns' has no place here. Wishing you all a Good Weekend and Shabbat Shalom", Shir-El too 08:13, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Shalom. :-) Just to add my enthusiasm for a learning project about aptitude tests as well as providing such tests themselves. This strikes me as a powerful model of education - looking at the artifacts of knowledge production and seeing them in their full social context. :-) Cormaggio talk 11:43, 31 August 2007 (UTC)


Here is the Quiz and here examples which was asked about.
BTW: the world is not black and white, there is no standard for anyone to measure. I would take such a test to see, what it is like, but "to know more about myself" I would recommend someone taking time to think about herself or ask some of the closest friends, who can tell how one behaves in some situations. Often it even helps to shutdown the PC :-)
Actually it is better to think in general ways then to think our strength lies in specializing. Imagine in past times great thinkers were talented in many areas. And nowadays people specialize, because society demands it. Steping out of the box !
I do not need a test to tell me what to read or where to digg more, my gut just tells me this. Hormons will show a person the way and when one has tried many things oneself will know where the own strengths lie (if this ever can be found out). Not always taking the shortcut is a good thing. The search alone could bring oneself to the goal (which will change over time).

E.g. I would recommend anybody to scan through Wikiversity to get to know things. Starting with the recent changes. There is so much changed everyday, karma will certainly lead you to a topic somebody finds interesting. Or using the "Random Page" link. And if not in Wikiversity then in Wikipedia and then comeback to WV.

But keep in mind: starting such a Aptitude Test and see where it goes is a good idea. Wikiversity is a wiki. Everybody can do (nearly) anything. We are still only discussing here. Probably the discussion is too long already and we are forgetting what the goal of Wikiversity is. So I would recommend starting a project Aptitude Test with a goal and poeple who want to join will come with time. And I believe also people from this discussion will observe it.

"government employees": I am laughing now - this is an inside joke :-) ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 20:15, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Here is a crude example of attempting to use some simple quizzes which are self scored to direct readers to further reading material. user:mirwin

In Summation: the mechanism, results and uses of aptitude testing is questionable but worth exploring, to which end a page has been opened. See you there!Shir-El too 06:54, 2 September 2007 (UTC)


I'm working on using the quiz system to do this, but I so far haven't been able to assign point values to particular choices. I'm going to ask the creator of the extension if she knows how when I get home. --Rayc 21:06, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Point added for a correct answer:   
Points for a wrong answer:
Ignore the questions' coefficients:

1. 1. When do you feel your best?

in the morning
during the afternoon & early evening
late at night
Distractor.

2. 2. You usually walk

fairly fast, with long steps
less fast head up, looking the world in the face
less fast, head down
very slowly

3. 3. When talking to people you

stand with your arms folded
have your hands clasped
have one or both your hands on your hips
touch or push the person to whom you are talking
play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. 4. When relaxing, you sit with

your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
your legs crossed
your legs stretched out or straight
one leg curled under you

5. 5. When something really amuses you, you react with

a big, appreciative laugh
a laugh, but not a loud one
a quiet chuckle
a sheepish smile

6. 6. When you go to a party or social gathering you..

make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7. 7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're interrupted. Do you..

welcome the break
feel extremely irritated
vary between these two extremes

8. 8. Which of the following colors do you like most?

red or orange
black
yellow or light blue
green
dark blue or purple
white
brown or gray

9. 9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep, you lie

stretched out on your back
stretched out face down on your stomach
on your side, slightly curled
with your head on one arm
with your head under the covers

Your score is 0 / 0


Apptitude Test 'form' program[edit]

I have given this program for taking the apptitude tests a great deal of thought in the past few days. I am not comfortable with the idea. I myself would not fill out such a grid if I found it while brousing the Internet, and I don't see why I or any other visitor should apply different trust criteria here on WV. Besides, it is not germain to the purpose of the page. Paper and pencil are still widely avaialbe items, even in this computer age, and far more private.

Now: may I ask you to try out the tests and give your evaluations of them (without scores)? Thank you. Shir-El too 02:58, 16 September 2007 (UTC) PS I don't remember where the last message on this topic was left, so this message will go on all the talk pages I can remember. Tks.

>and I don't see why I or any other visitor should apply different trust criteria here on WV.
It is possible that users
  • are used to this kind of form from their day to day usage with the internet and they prefer this more than using paper and pencil
  • or they don't have pencil and/or paper around
How about this: there could be offered both ways (both ways must not be on one page) and you could let decide the user for herself than limiting user choices already from beginning. What do you say ? ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 09:53, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
My Dear Sir: excellent! provide a link to the program page from the test heading. Woman though I be, I stick to my guns and would like to get back to the main issue: provision, analysis and discussion of apptitude tests. BTW: I'm copying the original discussion from the Colloquium onto the A/T talk page. Thank you, Shir-El too 15:14, 16 September 2007 (UTC)