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For definiteness, I call "functionally illiterate" to be unable to meet the following standard which has nothing to do with "knowledge" or even "information" or "trivia"
ACT WorkKeys includes twelve workplace skill assessments:

  • Applied Mathematics - applying mathematical reasoning to work-related problems
The dreaded "word problems" in mathematics classes.

  • Applied Technology - understanding technical principles as they apply to the workplace
  • Business Writing - composing clear, well-developed messages relating to on-the-job situations
  • What, no powerpoint?

  • Listening - being able to listen to and understand work-related messages
  • Locating Information - using information from sources such as diagrams, floor plans, tables, forms, graphs, and charts
  • Workplace Observation - paying attention to details in instructions and demonstrations
  • Reading for Information - comprehending work-related reading materials such as memos, bulletins, policy manuals, and governmental regulations
  • What, no powerpoint?

  • Teamwork - choosing behavior that furthers workplace relationships and accomplishes work tasks
  • Writing - measures the skills individuals use when they write messages that relay workplace information between people
  • What, no powerpoint?

  • Performance - related to attitudes toward work and the person's tendency to engage in unsafe work behaviors
  • Talent - includes dependability, assertiveness, and emotional stability
  • Fit - how interests and values correspond to a particular career


  • A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 25th, 2014 at 11:24:22 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    </snark>

    Power Point is a tool for presenting all of the desired understandings, not a substitute for knowing how to organize one's thoughts. Without the former Power Point just becomes another meaningless computer skill.

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 25th, 2014 at 11:58:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Don't dis making slide decks before you've had to make one to present a multi-million dollar business case...

    It actually is an acquired skill, and one that, like concision and intelligibility, is not well respected in academia. Presumably because it is believed that there is a tradeoff between precision and concision and between correctness and intelligibility. Which is not as false as some consultants would have you believe... but not as true as some professors hold either.

    - Jake

    Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jan 25th, 2014 at 12:28:16 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

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