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Assessing What Matters


"Conventional assessments do not meet the cognitive demands of the world today. WICS, an acronym for wisdom, intelligence, and creativity, synthesized, can provide a more meaningful model. Findings from the Rainbow Project, conducted by the Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise, showed that assessing students for creativity and practicality in addition to analytic skills gave a more complete picture of student abilities, more accurately predicted academic success in college, and provided more opportunities to various ethnic groups to show where they excelled. Project Kaleidoscope, which involved including on a college application questions that assessed WICS, goes beyond the Rainbow Project to include in its assessments the construct of wisdom. Results show that admitted applicants are more qualified than before and in a broader way. Moreover, the numbers of applications by underrepresented minorities increased substantially. In the 21st century, students need to be creatively flexible as they respond to rapid change. They need to be able to think critically, execute their ideas, and use their knowledge wisely. Assessments can reflect these requirements by incorporating elements that assess for creativity, practicality, and wisdom."