iPAL aims to bring together the best existing perspectives from different countries, projects, and initiatives in order to enable cutting-edge fundamental research and practical implementation of assessments and (possibly) corresponding teaching-and-learning tools, based on the latest and most innovative state of technology and scholarship.

The collaborative aims to develop reliable and valid performance assessments of 21st century ("generic") skills that can be used by higher-education institutions nationally and cross-nationally to measure learning. We focus on generic skills, skills that college graduates are expected to develop in order to be engaged citizens of the world. Such skills involve knowledge of content as well as skills (e.g., quantitative reasoning, critical literacy, written and oral communication) that college graduates can draw upon to address life’s everyday judgments, decisions, and challenges.

Building on our previous work, we envision an assessment that focuses on generic 21st century skills, that incorporates new research on rational thought, that goes beyond the current item formats to incorporate innovative media that produce with high fidelity “real-life” contexts. The goal is to produce reliable scores for individual test takers. The assessments we envision are what might be thought of as the next generation of performance assessments.