Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center

3.1.1 Measuring Key Skills and Competencies

Elena Kardanova
Project Leader

Project period


Context of Research Project within a Subject of Human Capital

The dynamics of economic development and the transformation of labor markets lead to the emergence of new requirements for the development of human skills and competencies, including not only traditionally understood educational outcomes, but also a much wider set of other characteristics that are beyond the attention of formal education systems today. But, in fact, they constitute an important part of human capital in the XXI century. The study of the impact of social, personal and emotional characteristics of human potential is largely constrained by the lack of high-quality modern assessment tools with a high level of validity and reliability.

The research project Measuring Key Skills and Competencies focuses on the search and development of conceptual models, psychometric approaches and methods for valid and reliable measurement of key skills and competencies in education

Project Aim

Developing on the basis of innovative approaches based on conceptual frameworks that take into account new requirements for the assessment of human potential as a comprehensive framework, tools for assessing complex constructs that are part of human potential and their testing on specific samples within the education system

Project Objectives:

  1. Developing theoretical models for measuring key skills and competencies of students, including operational definitions of key skills and competencies, their assumed internal structure and behavioral indicators of their manifestation
  2. Creating high-quality, reliable and valid computerized tools for assessing key skills and competencies, as well as methods for analyzing the collected data. Developing psychometric models and statistical methods for analyzing the results, taking into account the complexity of the theoretical structure and nature of the manifestation of key skills and competencies developed by students in the learning process, including socio-emotional skills.
  3. Studying the formation of critical thinking, creativity, communication and cooperation in primary school, the level of digital literacy of secondary school graduates, the relationship of socio-emotional skills and motivation of primary and secondary school students with their educational results and subjective well-being, the level of critical thinking and the level of competence development in the field of economics of Russian students
  4. Studying the possibilities of using collateral information (contextual information and information from the digital assessment environment) when measuring individual progress of students and available data from the VKontakte social network to study the factors of educational achievements of schoolchildren

Key Findings


The theoretical framework for measuring universal competencies for primary schools based on the  model of combining critical thinking, creativity, communication and cooperation has been developed, the adaptation of the competence measurement tool in the field of economics of students (created within the framework of the WiWiKom project (Germany)) has been carried out towards the Russian educational context


Theoretical models have been developed for measuring the competencies of critical thinking and creativity of secondary school students, digital literacy of secondary school students, critical thinking of university students, namely: an analysis of the problems of operationalization and an analysis of existing models and tools for measuring them in the world have been conducted, definitions have been formulated, components for all constructs have been identified and described, behavioral characteristics have been defined  that can be evidence of the formation of the components of the construct and potential products of activity in which they can manifest themselves.

The piloting and verification of the psychometric quality of the instrument for measuring competence in the field of economics of university students, scenario-type tools for assessing socio-emotional skills and educational motivation of primary and secondary school students, a tool for measuring basic mathematical skills have been conducted, a trial algorithm for automatic scoring for tasks with a short constructed open-type answer in digital tools has been developed and tested


Tools for assessing key skills and competencies (critical thinking, creativity, communication, cooperation), digital literacy, socio-emotional skills, basic literacy for general school and critical thinking, and economic literacy for higher education have been tested and developed. To improve the accuracy and reliability of measurements, the testing platform has introduced automatic collection of additional information about the behavior of respondents on the testing platform. Prototypes of automatic scoring models have been developed. The possibilities of using models of cognitive diagnostics to provide formative feedback on the results of testing have been studied.

Пример компьютерной системы и результаты апробации теста на большой выборке учащихся одного из крупных городов РФ

Educational Programs

Master's Program Science of Learning and Assessment

Educational trajectory Designing Educational Products. Pedagogy Master’s Program

Researcher at EdTech Minor

HSE and RANEPA Joint Educational Workshops Social and Humanitarian Dimension of Human Potential

Study course Comparative Analysis of Education Systems

Study course Socio-economic Development Based on Human Potential: Problems, Prospects and Best Practices in Education


  1. Uglanova I. Pogodina I. What Can a New Methodology for Assessing the Thinking of Schoolchildren Offer to Modern Education? (RU) // Questions of education
  2. Federiakin D. et al. Cross-national structure of economic competence: Insights from a German and Russian assessment //Research in Comparative and International Education. – 2022. – Т. 17. – №. 2. – С. 225-245. doi
  3. Report Measuring of Universal Competencies as an Outcome of Higher Education (RU) Authors: Svetlana Avdeeva, Pauline Gass, Elena Kardanova, Yulia Koreshnikova, Alyona Kulikova, Ekaterina Orel, Taras Paschenko and Pavel Sorokin
  4. Kuzmina Y., Antipkina I. (2022) The Association between Approximate Number Sense (ANS) and Math Achievement Depends on the Format of the ANS Test //Journal of Cognition and Development. – 2022. – Т. 23. – №. 4. – С. 545-570. doi
  5. Parmaksiz L., Kanonire T. A  (2022) Comparative Investigation of the Rasch/Guttman Scenario Approach: Measuring Learning Motivation Toward Mathematics in Elementary School. //Assessment for Effective Intervention. – 2022. – Т. 48. – №. 1. – С. 34-42. doi


XXII April International Scientific Conference on Economic and Social Development (Moscow, Russia, April 4-22, 2021):
- Special Round Table Assessment of Universal Competencies as Results of Higher Education (RU) (19/04/2021)

International scientific Seminar Opportunities and Problems of Assessing Students' Competencies in Higher Education: a Brief Overview of the Current State of Research from a series of events within the framework of the International Scientific Seminar Measurements and Data Analysis in Psychology and Education (Moscow, Russia, September 23, 2021)

Webinar Assessment of Students' Digital Competencies: Experience in Developing Tools and Research Results within the framework of the International Scientific Seminar Measurement and Data Analysis in Psychology and Education (Moscow, Russia, December 9, 2021)

XXIII Yasin (April) International Scientific Conference on Economic and Social Development (Moscow, Russia, April 5-22, 2022): Special session Universal Competencies as the Core of Human Potential: Formation and Evaluation (RU) (05/04/2022)