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Assessment Design

Transportable and Technical Skills

The focus of PLTW End-of-Course Assessments goes beyond subject-matter knowledge to include measurement of transportable skills like problem solving, creative thinking, and collaboration. The inclusion of transportable skills allows the students’ score reports to be relevant across career sectors –both STEM-centric and non-STEM – as shown in the report PLTW commissioned through nationally recognized labor market insights firm, Burning Glass Technologies, The Power of Transportable Skills.

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My engineering students need to know that everything they do technical is not in a vacuum. The ethical issues they encounter will be multifaceted. They need to be aware that the world is going to be messy.

- Dr. Susannah Howe, Design Clinic Director, Picker Engineering Program Smith College

The new PLTW Assessment marks a turning point in student recruitment for businesses across the country. For years, we’ve sought graduates who have mastered the types of skills PLTW students gain through their coursework, but have faced increased challenges in identifying those who are ready to hit the ground running in the workplace. By giving businesses a tool to validate these skills, PLTW is making it possible for employers like Toyota to recognize and hire the top talent we need to drive our business forward.

- Brian Krinock, Senior Vice President Toyota Motor North America

My favorite thing about the new PLTW Assessments is that they engage students in the problem-solving process, connecting to the concepts that they learned throughout the course and the skills employers seek! The students appreciate that the assessment questions involve real world situations in which they can apply their learning.

- Ethan Hodge, PLTW Teacher Russellville High School

The Triad Approach

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) involves PLTW teachers and experts from higher education and industry in every step of the design and development process to ensure validity and relevance.

What Makes the PLTW Assessment Exemplary?

Building the assessment of professional skills integrated with content specific subject matter better captures the brilliance of those students who excel at more than just remembering formulae. Not surprisingly, 89 percent of executives say they have a difficult time finding people who possess crucial skills like the ability to communicate clearly, solve problems, collaborate, and more. Further, in initial data, we have observed that the inclusion of transportable skills items closed the achievement gap for girls and marginalized student groups. Measuring transportable skills side-by-side with subject matter skills allows for a more holistic and deep view of student abilities, increasing self-efficacy by scores that affirm strengths. The End-of-Course Assessments capture the breadth and depth of PLTW classroom learning and provide students a new way to showcase their potential.

Learn More

Learn more about the research and creators of the PLTW Assessment!

Meet the PLTW Technical Advisory Committee
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