Self Assessment

We literacy practitioners often talk to our learners about the importance of self assessment.

 “It’s good, from time to time, to step back and reflect on how you are doing. It lets you see if you’re still on the right track, and it helps you to keep moving forward in various areas of your life.”

 It’s good advice, but, let’s be honest, how often do we practice what we preach?

The interactive, self assessment/self evaluation tool on this website can help you reflect upon and evaluate your skills, knowledge and abilities in four areas of professional work: 


How does it work?

  • The tool contains a list of items that are organized according to four areas of professional work.
  • For each item, readers assign themselves a value of 1 to 4 that reflects what they think of their level of skill or their knowledge in that particular area.
  • The tool calculates the readers’ score automatically and displays the results at the end of the assessment.
  • Based on what their score suggests, readers can read a description of their level of professional knowledge or skill in each area.
  • The tool also provides a recommended plan of action for professional development by ordering the courses from the most helpful to the least needed according to the individual’s own self-assessment.


 Of course, self assessments have their limitations:

  • The results of a self assessment are based on an individual's own thoughts and feelings.

  • The data is very subjective, which means the results cannot be guaranteed, scientifically accurate.

  • Results can have different interpretations.

That is not to say the results have no value. They do reveal what you think and how you feel about your professional performance and work, and they can certainly point you in the direction of training that would meet your immediate needs for professional development.

How much time will the self assessment activity take?

In order to gather enough data for meaningful results, the self assessment is quite lengthy. You should set aside about 45 minutes to complete the activity. Do not agonize over the value you should assign to each item. Go with what strikes you as, “closest”.  Remember that a value of 1 means “I’m great at this. I’m number one!” A value of 4 means, “I think I am very weak in this area”.

Why would I spend 45 minutes on a self assessment activity?

To support your ongoing professional development, we would like to help you think about what it takes to be a successful, effective literacy practitioner, and, in a sense, hold up a mirror for you to see what you really think about your own skills and abilities.

As you know, there's a lot more to being a successful literacy practitioner than simply the ability to communicate with learners!

  • a certain level of professional knowledge is required;
  • there are certain necessary skills and abilities for program development and program delivery;
  • the ability to keep up with the administrative requirements of the job is important;
  • organizational and time-management skills as well as the ability to work well with other literacy professionals is essential.

This self-assessment exercise will show you what you think about your knowledge and skills in all these areas. As an added bonus, the tool will give you a list of courses that are available on this site that match your personal training priorities.  Overall, we hope that it will help you:

  • appreciate the scope of the work you do,
  • take stock of your professional work,
  • value what you do well and recognize the expertise you have developed,
  • identify any important gaps in skills and knowledge that may exist,
  • start along a pathway to professional development and growth.

Tell me more about the four areas I will be evaluating

Professional knowledge

Professional knowledge refers to what you know and understand about the whole field of adult literacy education, i.e. literacy issues, adult learners, literacy assessment, teaching, program development and the LBS Program etc. It’s about how well could you explain or how easily could you expound upon various literacy- and LBS-related topics or ideas.

Professional practice

Professional practice includes everything you do with and for the learners, i.e. establishing a positive learning environment, conducting goal-directed assessments, developing training plans, planning the program, developing the curriculum, designing learning activities, varying your teaching methods, creating and using demonstrations, locating and modifying resources… How well do you perform these various tasks? How successful is your program? Could you teach these skills to someone else? Do these tasks come naturally, or do you struggle with them somewhat?

Professional accountability

Professional accountability refers to all the additional administrative and creative tasks that you do in order to support the LBS Program, i.e. information management, participation in field development initiatives, communication with other programs and social service agencies etc. How knowledgeable are you about the requirements of this aspect of your work? How efficient are you with these tasks? Could you teach LBS information management skills to someone else? Do these tasks come naturally to you? Do you like this part of the job?

Professional conduct

Professional conduct includes a number of other important skills that support or contribute to success and your sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in your work. They would include things like: classroom management, i.e. routines and procedures that promote efficiency in the classroom, behaviour management and conflict intervention; professional relationships with others at your place of work; the self-management and self-direction skills that support productive daily activity i.e. time management, organization etc. How effective are you in these areas? Could you teach these skills to someone else?

TIPS to help you with the self assessment activity:

  1. When you open the assessment tool, look carefully at the key at the top of the page. Read the descriptors for the values 1 to 4 of knowledge and ability.
  2. Quickly skim over the list of items in the chart to get a general idea of the kinds of things you will be evaluating.
  3. Next, read the items carefully, one by one. In the box beside each item, type in a value of 1 to 4 that reflects what you think about your personal level of knowledge and skill. Remember, #1 is the highest.
  4. To move on to the next page, click “SUBMIT” (at the bottom of the page). NOTE: You can go back to previous pages and make changes by using the “Back” button on your toolbar.
  5. When you have completed the assessment, the tool will calculate the results and show you a description that corresponds to your score in each of the four areas of professional work.
  6. A bar graph will show you what training would be most helpful for you. The higher/longer the bar, the greater your need for training is in that area. The six bars correspond to the six modules of training that are available on this site.
  7. You can print off the evaluation results page for future reference.