The Youth Life Skills evaluation system is designed to help youth development professionals, teachers, parents, and other caring adults to assess children and youth on life skills that can enhance outcomes regarding diversity, science, leadership, citizenship, art, and more. To help in deliberately planning activities and programs, assessing strengths and weakness in life skills of their children and youth, and assess change and impact. One of the first questions to be answered in getting started is what tool to pick? We suggest you read through the sub-areas of importance or constructs for each of the tools and examine how well they fit with your objectives and program plan. You may also want to look at the questions within each of the sub-areas of importance for each of the tools. Note that ERIKA is different from the other tools where it is interactive that utilizes characters in scenarios to address multiple life skills that include audio for younger youth and youth with literacty issues. If you need assistance contact Human Service Research.
ERIKA Life Skills
ERIKA is an interactive tool utilizing scenarios and characters that set the stage to ask life skill questions from the following constructs. Audio is included for young children and children with literacy issues. While ERIKA incorporates much from the questionaries below, it has three new constructs: Caring, Personal Values, and Social Conscience.
1. Decision Making
2. Critical Thinking
4. Personal Values
5. Social Conscience
Everyday Living Life Skills
The Everyday Living Life is a combination of all five tools.
1. Decision Making
2. Critical Thinking
5. Solving Problems
Making decisions is the process of identifying and selecting a choice among possible alternatives and then evaluate the consequences of that choice. This survey assesses youth’s decision-making ability by examining the frequency of use of the following skills that are needed to engage in sound decision-making.
1. Define the Problem
2. Identify the Alternatives
3. Identify the Risk and Consequences
4. Select an Alternative
Critical thinking is defined as thinking that evaluates reasons and brings thought and actions in line with evaluations. Youth may know how to access and locate, interpret, and apply information. However, if they do not invest any time in evaluating the information they use, their efforts often result in a low-quality product. Worse, failure to evaluate may result in unfavorable outcomes especially when associated with flawed information. This survey will assesses youth’s critical thinking ability by examining the frequency of use of the following skills that are needed to think critically.
3. Analysis/Information Processing
Oral communication is the dynamic process by which people exchange thoughts, ideas, and messages. Listening is the act of interpreting sounds and/or visual stimuli and using those interpretations to give them meaning. This evaluation assesses youth’s ability to communication by examining the frequency of use of the following skills that are needed to use effective communication practices.
1. Awareness of one’s own styles of communication
2. Understanding and valuing different styles of communication
3. Practicing empathy
4. Adjusting one’s own styles of communication to match others' styles. (Communicative adaptability)
5. Communication of essential information
6. Interaction management
Goal-setting is the process of setting benchmarks, monitoring progress, and utilizing feedback to achieve a targeted result. This survey assesses youth’s goal setting ability by examining the frequency of use of the following skills that are needed to set realistic goals.
1. Goal difficulty
2. Goal specificity
3. Participation in goal setting (strategies, self-monitoring, incentives)
Problem Solving is the process of using reasoning and analysis to look beyond the surface of a problem to the underlying concepts that need to be part of the solution. It is a process of recognizing and correctly defining problems, creating and implementing solutions, and evaluating the results of those solutions. This survey assesses youth’s problem-solving ability by examining the frequency of use of the following skills that are needed to engage in problem-solving;
1. Identify/Define the Problem
2. Analyze Possible Causes or Assumptions
3. Identify Possible Solutions
4. Select Best Solution
5. Implement the Solution
6. Evaluate Progress and Revise as Needed