Skillsoft Introduces New Assessment Tool to Identify Workforce Skill Gaps
Skillsoft, a corporate digital learning platform, announced today the launch of Skill Benchmark Assessments, a new capability within the company's learning experience platform, Percipio.
The new assessments will help organizations assess employee skill proficiency and provide personalized development paths, according to company officials. Reskilling, upskilling and learning in the flow of work have taken on a higher priority for many organizations as they look to increase their speed and agility.
Apratim Purakayastha, group chief technology officer at Skillsoft, told Reworked that product innovations like this prepare businesses and their workers for the future of work.
"At its core, our Skill Benchmark Assessments capability is designed to help customers transform their workforce by developing skills that their company needs to compete," he said. "By helping companies upskill and reskill their employees, Skillsoft builds on its mission to help companies meet emerging needs in their marketplaces."
Identifying Skills Gaps and Offering Personalized Recommendations
Learning experience platforms like Percipio have developed in recent years to help companies create customized, adaptive learning and skill development pathways for individual employees. Underlying the functionality of these platforms are increasingly sophisticated skills engines, AI-powered systems that create a comprehensive skills taxonomy across the organization that can be used to personalize employee learning and create a skills management platform or organizational talent marketplace.
Skillsoft's Skill Benchmark Assessments are designed to give organizations an objective window into the current state of employee skills across a number of in-demand areas. According to the company, it does this by taking a "criterion-based approach" that assesses skill proficiency against objectives set by subject matter experts. This is in contrast to a norm-based approach which compares individual learner's knowledge to the average of other learners.
Additional features of the new product also include:
- Streamlined assessment experience: After answering curated question sets aligned to specific skills, employees are assigned a benchmark score. Based on this, they will then receive personalized recommendations within Percipio that include microlearning lessons, hands-on practice labs, instructor-led training, and longer form curricula, such as Skillsoft's Aspire Journeys, to enhance and deepen their skill sets, according to Purakayastha.
- Skill benchmark dashboard: Admins and managers can view scores and levels for individual learners and teams to diagnose where skill gaps exist, according to Purakayastha. They can then assign specific assessments and training courses for careers and competencies that have been prioritized for growth and innovation.
Assessments are included without any additional fee for Percipio customers, and currently include skill benchmarks for more than 100 tech, leadership and business skills.
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What’s Next for Skillsoft?
Benchmark assessments are currently available in Skillsoft's Technology & Developer and Leadership & Business libraries, and cover topics like cloud computing, digital literacy, agile methodologies and performance management.
The company plans to expand its Skill Benchmark Assessments library in the coming months. "We are hoping to have several hundred assessments to offer this time next year,” said Purakayastha.
As part of the introduction of Skill Benchmark Assessments, Skillsoft is also rolling out a mobile-first learning tool that employs flashcards to reinforce learning and prepare employees to take certification examinations. Skillsoft has also now been granted FedRamp clearance to serve federal customers as well, company officials said.
Since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020, the Boston-based company has made a number of acquisitions and product announcements, including the release of the Percipio app for Microsoft Teams, which allows workers to study, access assignments, discuss key takeaways and share courses within Microsoft's popular collaboration application. At the end of 2021, Skillsoft also acquired technical skills specialist Codecademy in a $525 million deal.