LifeKnowledge® has created a great data tracking tool for skills surrounding premier leadership, personal growth and career success. Since 2007 this tool, the Precept Indicator Assessment, has been assessing learners’ levels of achievement within the cornerstones of the FFA mission.
“It is hard to assess students in areas of vision, professional growth and other seemingly intangible precepts. The LK Precept Indicator is unique in that it is one of the few formal assessments of its kind that I am aware of that assesses the precepts,” says Wes Crawford, an agriculture educator at Sutherlin High School in Sutherlin, Ore. “Teachers have been evaluating premier leadership, personal growth and career success by the demonstration of skills, but there has not been an assessment tool in these core precept areas until now.”
The indicator is broken down into 15 pre- and post-tests—one of each for each of the precepts. The assessments consist of three different question types: scenarios, general knowledge and analysis questions using graphs and charts. The indicator is designed to provide immediate feedback to show a learner’s strengths and areas of growth potential.
“Using pre-test results, I focused my teaching on the specific areas challenging the students and did not spend as much time on the precepts in which they collectively scored well. By using the indicator, I was able to tailor the curriculum to the needs of the class,” Crawford said.
After completing the assessments, three reports were compiled that provide valuable data based on students’ performances. The following reports are available:
- Assessment Overview Report:
- Provides an overview of results for one or more assessments. This report can be used to easily evaluate overall student performance on a particular precept.
- Coaching Report:
- Provides detailed results for one participant taking one assessment. This report is available to the student upon completion of the online assessment. The coaching report supplies a description of the level the learner has achieved in regards to their level of mastery on that precept. It also provides next step activities to help the students achieve the next level of mastery.
- Grade Book Report:
- Provides a complete table of assessments and participants showing the scores achieved on the indicator. Using this report, you can easily assign students tasks or responsibilities within your class that would target specific areas in need of growth and development.
The Precept Indicator is a validated and reliable assessment that gives you the data that you need to prove that your program is developing the leaders for tomorrow. In today’s teaching world, we are being held more accountable for our students’ success; therefore, it is crucial that we are able to provide proof to administrators and community supporters that we are educating our students to become positive, influential leaders within their careers and communities. These skills and precepts are not just a desired outcome; with the new National Content Standards, it really is a must-have.
“One of the best rationales to teaching LifeKnowledge lessons is that you get more bang for your buck,” Crawford said. “During my thesis research, I found that even though I taught only eight lessons and focused on three precepts, surprisingly the results of the post-test showed significant improvements not only in the precepts taught but also in many related areas. When the semester is already packed with too many things to learn, it’s great to know the LK lessons can be effective in a short amount of time.”