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Peer Review

Interpersonal Communication Skills Test



Overall Numeric Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 3 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: May 18, 2001 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This interactive test consists of 34 questions to evaluate a participant?s general level of communication skills. Results include a general discussion of communication skills needed to communicate effectively. Scores range from 0 (poor) to 100 (excellent). A brief interpretation of the test score achieved is included followed by links to fee based help sessions and books to purchase.
Type of Material: Quiz
Technical Requirements: The site contains a warning that if one?s browser is set up to refresh every page every time you load (see Preferences or Internet options in your browser), all answers will be erased.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Provide an opportunity to conduct a self-assessment to determine the quality of one?s communication skills.
Target Student Population: College or high school
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Five paragraphs of summary information regarding general communication skills are provided as part of the user?s results. Deborah Tannen?s book ?That?s not what I meant: How conversation style makes or breaks relationships? is referenced. Questions included appear to be based on communication theory.
Concerns: ? No test validation data is available to determine validity and reliability of the instrument.
? Responses go into a database being used for purposes beyond the respondent?s knowledge. As a result faculty might have to clear usage of this instrument with their university?s policy on human subjects because personal information if requested and does not explicitly state the end use of responses.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: Effectiveness as a teaching tool depends on the context of the course in which the module is used. The quiz does appear to be useful as a self-assessment for students to use when preparing for job search to verify whether one?s communication skills are as hones as one thinks.
Concerns: ? is self-described as an Internet magazine entertainment site that provides an interactive avenue for self-exploration. The interpretation of the score provided to the user provides little beneficial information. Specific areas of weakness or strength are not highlighted. For example, the last word of the first sentence changes from poor to good, etc. depending on the score obtained. Remainder of paragraph is standard for all users.
? Final two-sentence paragraph suggests improvement is needed and is followed by advertisement for fee based help sessions or books to purchase from the organization.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The site is designed with narrative text kept to a minimum. Instructions are thorough, providing requirements necessary for test to be successfully scored. Respondents can elect to participate in test validation and save test results for future reference.
Concerns: ? Answers could be erased if browser not configured properly (site does contain a warning message). Users must read instructions before proceeding with test.
? This survey is not really meant to be a visually appealing, interactive resource.