Effective Listening Inventory

Subgroup Size

Entire group


10 minutes

External Cost


Lesson Plan


Activity adapted by Katherine N. Yngve, CILMAR, from:


King, G. A., Servais, M., Bolack, L., Shepherd, T. A., & Willoughby, C. (2012). Development of a measure to assess effective listening and interactive communication skills in the delivery of children’s rehabilitation services. Disability and rehabilitation, 34(6), 459-469. 


Drollinger, T., Comer, L. B., & Warrington, P. T. (2006). Development and validation of the active empathetic listening scale. Psychology & Marketing, 23(2), 161-180.

This is a self-scoring 18-question instrument. Given its self-scoring nature, this assessment will help individuals or teams develop greater awareness of the components of active and empathic listening. Used in tandem with a debrief or as a discussion starter, it may also create awareness of others' listening skills or help trigger empathy.

Many travelers or short-term study abroad students come back from a sojourn in another nation with the recognition that (a) they do not communicate very well with folks from other countries & (b) the thought that it might be beneficial to engage more deliberately in mastering a foreign language. But effective communication is not JUST about talking!

Note that this is a formative assessment instrument. It is intended to be used to demonstrate to the learner that effective communication is not just about talking.   As such, its high face-validity is a feature, not a bug! If you intend to use this instrument as a summative instrument it is best to use the "retrospective pre-test" method, described more fully on this evaluation blog.

If you would like to know more about the difference between formative and summative assessment, we recommend this explanation from Carnegie Mellon University's Eberle Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation.