O*NET Level Scale Anchor Updates: Knowledge and Generalized Work Activities


September 2021


Brittany F. Crawford, Matthew C. Reeder, Matthew T. Allen
Human Resources Research Organization

Phil Lewis
National Center for O*NET Development


This paper describes the effort to modernize and streamline the level scales associated with the O*NET Program’s Knowledge and Generalized Work Activities domains. This effort focused on the anchors: element-specific examples illustrating points along the numeric scale range. The level scale anchors are included within the questionnaires used by job incumbents and occupational experts to populate and/or update data for the O*NET Knowledge and Generalized Work Activities domains. The level anchors are also incorporated within generic questionnaires available for use within organization-specific job analysis projects and research. Application developers can also access the level anchors via the O*NET Database and O*NET Web Services.

The effort to update the scales included:

  1. Review each level scale anchor for issues with obsolescence, length, language that could be difficult to understand, grammar or spelling, redundancy, bias or sensitivity.
  2. Write updated level scale anchors for those flagged for any of the above issues.
  3. Scale each new level scale anchor while also ensuring a match to the originally intended element.

This resulted in a review of 222 level scale anchors across the two domains and updates to 60. The newly developed level scale anchors provide modernized and simplified alternatives to the original anchors.