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Title: The Design and Validation of Skills Measures (Trade Tests) for Post Office (Telecommunications) Engineers in Training.
Author: Ikeagwu, E. K.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3586 2362
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 1974
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The purpose of the study was to try to locate causes of wastage among trainees in the Telecommunications business and suggest improvements in the training of apprentices. A preliminary investigation in this direction examined the system of training and emphasised, in the recommendations put forward to the man.aqement, the necessity to replace the present subjective procedures of assessing trainee proficiency in field work by an objective measure, TRADE TEST. The main study dealt with the designing of the measure - 'Skills Measure'. The report falls into three sections. Section One gives the background· of the organisation in which the study was conducted and the history of testing. The first chapter describes Post Office activities and training in the Telecommunications busiftess. The rest of this section is concerned with the development of Objective and Trade Tests and their application in investigations. Section Two starts witft the preliminary investigation mentioned above and then discusses the methods employed to collect test materials. These include - Observation of trainees and experts at wo~; Participation in the performance of same tasks; examination of documents, handouts and textbooks in use for training; interviews with various grades of people (e.g. students and instructors) in the organisation; job descriptions and job analyses. Test items fram these materials were selected according to set criteria - 'Criticality', 'Difficulty' and 'Frequency' - and related to four classes of knowledge - factual, comprehension, application and simplified analysis - to measure' 'perceptual motor or psychomotor skills, Cognitive objectives and Affective objectives in the experience acquired in field training. The advance test, 'Skills.Measure (written) " was tried out on three experimental and two control groups. The test discriminated well between groups. In the London Telecommunications region, 'Skills Measure (written)' was administered to 296 trainees and 'Skills Measure (practical)', to 276 trainees. In the South East region 64 trainees took the 'Skills Measure (written) " and 63 took the practical. 'Predictive Measure', developed from 'Skills Measure (written) " through item analysis, and improved for identifYing candidates for specialist training, was administered to 154 students in London region. 3 Results and conclusions are considered in Section Three. The Birkbeck tests (Tests 1 to 5) on all round ability, and Test 1 (abstraction), had significant relationships with 'Skills Measure, Part I', (a written test on theoretical engineering knowledge), and 'Predictive Measure' (testing ability for specialist training in, respectively. A combination of Birkbeck tests 2 and 5, (mechanical comprehension and spatial judgement) was positively related to 'Skills Measure Part II' (practical, assessing practical skills in engineering) • Correlation of Skills and Predictive Measures with course test scores gives some justification to the claim of 'Skills and Predictive Measures' to measure theoretical engineering knowledge. Neither the field and centre instructors' ranking of trainees, nor the Area grades on which so much importance is attached in selection for specialist training, showed any positive relationship with any of the proved objective measures and tests.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available