As part of my second year university course, we have to do a Careers module. The motives for this course are good as it is obviously to encourage us to start thinking about and planning for the future. Part of the first assignment required us to do a personality test (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) which they call the “on-line” work. In fact, it was just a Word Document which should be downloaded and ‘completed’ and then posted in an electronic folder.
Completing the form entailed:
That may sound simple but:
Despite my good IT skills, I could only do this by printing a copy of the sheets and asking someone to tick the boxes for me (I’d get them muddled up) as we went through the questions and asking them to complete the scoring sheet, again using a pen. Subsequently, I had to update the Word document to look like the hand-written one as the course director wanted it handed in “on-line”. I couldn’t visually follow the grid and so asked someone else to transcribe it. This all took about an hour.
Oddly enough, there was an alternative to the Myer-Briggs called the Jung Typology, which was offered as optional background work. It had a similar set of questions and scoring approach. However, this was truly ‘online’. I selected my answers using a radio button on the screen; when the questions were completed, I submitted the answers and the result and analysis was displayed in a way that I could copy and paste into a Word document to file. This took ten minutes.
The lesson is that a little thought by the person who designed this module could have saved everyone a lot of time, which was essentially wasted on non-valued-added “mechanics”. Anyone designing this type of exercise would be well advised to consider what exactly the participants would actually have to do to complete the assignment.