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Modus, an online directory of essential skills assessment tools

Marie‑Claire Pître
National Adult Literacy Database (NALD)

(The name of the National Adult Literacy Database [NALD] was changed to Copian on September 30, 2013.)


This past spring, the National Adult Literacy Database (NALD) launched Modus (www) English Hyperlink Notice, its new interactive directory of essential skills assessment tools.

The Latin word modus has several meanings, including measure, manner, method, mode and way.

This innovative website includes free diagnostic tools and access to fee‑for‑service agencies. Users can browse tools by selecting one of the following categories: essential skills, location, audience or cost (if applicable).

Assessment is an integral part of programs and strategies for essential skills training. The labour market issues faced by today's employers include the need to assess and understand the complexities of learning. Organizations need a highly skilled workforce and must also face the challenge of adapting to change and modernization.

Why join Modus?

"One key feature of Modus is the 'rate and review' component," says NALD CEO Bill Stirling. "This feature allows those accessing the site to comment on resources and to view feedback on specific tools to get a better sense of what works in the workplace."

Any user can consult the Modus website and its resources. However, by becoming a member, you can also use the "rate and review" feature to provide your feedback on a tool's usefulness. In addition, you can rate the various tools by assigning star ratings.

Are you committed to training a more skilled workforce? With Modus, you can work toward this goal by sharing your comments on how effective you find the assessment tools. In addition, as a member, you can create your own collection of assessment tools and essential skills assessment services. All you need to do is click on "Add to my resources" to build your own toolbox.

Benchmarks and skill levels should be aligned to provincial and territorial standards. For this reason, Modus includes the location where the tool or service originated.

The Modus website project received financial support from the Government of Canada through the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.