If you’re a teacher or a student, you’ve probably come across the acronym SICKS. What’s this acronym for? It stands for Standardized Instructional Criteria for Knowledge and Skills, and it provides an easy-to-use framework for measuring student confidence with key skills. With this framework, you can use a variety of assessment tools to determine how well students are learning each skill. With its clear and concise definitions, SICKS makes it easy to make a practical assessment.
In addition to its negative meaning, the word sick has acquired a new, positive meaning. This is the opposite of the established negative sense, and is widely used by younger people. Young people often use the word sick to refer to the latest electronic gadgetry or clothing. According to a study published in the Oxford University Press, sick is a common verb in sports, fashion, and popular culture. Its varying uses in the context of popular culture are also influencing its meaning.
The SICKS was developed by the SICKS Research Group. It was developed using a cross-validation method that included IBM’s Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 24(c). The researchers addressed missing values using multiple imputation. For the pilot study, the SICKS items were selected with an eye toward convergent validity, although divergent validity was not explored. A future study will explore this method. However, it’s important to note that the initial study only collected data from one sample, and the SICKS can’t be used to measure multiple measures of the same construct.
The positive use of sick first emerged in the US in the early eighties, but did not enter the British language until recently. Like the words “bad” and “wicked,” sick follows the footsteps of words like “wrong” and “dangerous.” Interestingly enough, both of these words have been around longer than people think. Inverted meanings are actually older than we think, as far back as 1920. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “Zipper” is a good example of an inverted meaning of sick.
SICKS items are structured to measure confidence in six key skills, and based on this, CFA helped reveal underlying structure in the data. Inferential analysis examined whether the confidence levels students reported on the six key skills were associated with their experiences of school. A descriptive review of the data explored factors and relationships between confidence levels and student experiences. It was concluded that students had a wide range of confidence in these key skills, and their confidence levels were linked to their overall school experience.