Assessment, Outcomes, and Program Improvement


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Sharing feedback with students is a key component of every course. It has been proven to engage students in a way that improves outcomes and leads to continuous program improvement.

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  • Maximising Assessment and driving for continual program improvement - Chris Ross & Michael Garner, Solutions Engineers, Academic Platforms
    Measuring learning is a key element to outcomes assessment, and is the foundation for improvement. Join us as we look at how an institution's assessment framework can be managed within Blackboard, empowering timely and rich feedback to students whilst at the same time ensuring institutional insight into desired program and graduate level outcomes.
  • A world where everyone in education can access infinite teaching tools, information, and analytics from anywhere at any time.
  • Some research by Gibbs in 2010

    This research shows (as does a large body of other research) that the biggest influence of learning is assessment, and in particular the feedback given on that assessment.

    This is not a controversial view, but it is worth reminding ourselves of the importance of feedback as we consider how we are going to assess our learners.
  • Australasian Survey of Student Engagement

    Much research has highlighted the vital importance of interactions with staff for the retention of first-year students.

    Hausmann et al. (2007) refer to this as a ‘sense of belonging’, incorporating interactions with both peers and with staff. Wilcox et al. (2005) particularly emphasise social integration with peers, and Cuseo (2007) highlights interactions with teaching staff. Figure 9

    This diagram shows the percentage of first-year students in Australia, New Zealand and the USA who report participating in various forms of student/staff interaction ‘often’ or ‘very often’. It is clear that first- year students in Australia are less likely to engage in every interaction than their American counterparts.
  • Compared to USA – Australian students less than half as likely to discuss their grades
    They are less likely than first year USA students to receive prompt written oral feedback.

    Responses may reflect larger class sizes in Australia for first years
    Paradigms like the flipped classroom, working towards students being more “sticky” and connected with not only their learning but the broader institution.

    Need to look at sustainable model that supports our students and educators

  • When we delve into the feedback component….To perform well in the students eyes, feedback needs to be:

    Timely – so that it is still relevant and particularly before the next task has to be completed

    Detailed – pointing the learner to specific areas in which they can improve

    Helpful – so that it tells the learner what they need to do to improve

    From a Teqsa standpoint – specific mention is made to: Adequate and timely feedback being provided to students on their assessed work. As a key component that each higher education award must meet.

  • Add timeline for assessment
  • Christie tenants of eLearning - “Action fueled by insight is essential to helping students succeed”

  • Leverage instructors’ existing use of Blackboard courses
    Collect, sample & store student artifacts separately from courses
    Conduct rubric evaluations in Course, Outcomes, or both
    Use results as direct evidence of student learning for learning outcomes assessment and improvement
  • Assessment, Outcomes, and Program Improvement

    1. 1. ® Maximising Assessment & Driving for Continual Program Improvement Chris Ross Solutions Engineer, Blackboard International
    2. 2. Welcome Chris Ross • Solutions Engineer, ANZ • Worked with Educational Tech. for 15 years • Life is a journey of continuous improvement • BSc Comp Science (Melbourne) • Based in Melbourne, Australia
    3. 3. Agenda 1. Why Assess Learners 2. Importance of Feedback 3. Integrated Online Assessment Ecosystem 4. Learning Outcomes 5. Program Improvement 6. Q&A 3
    4. 4. The Active Learner 4
    5. 5. Why Assess Learners? • Validate Learning Outcomes • Diagnose Learning Needs • Differentiate Learners • Improve Learning Outcomes • Impart Knowledge • Influence Learners • Motivate Learners 5
    6. 6. Effectiveness of Feedback http://repository-
    7. 7. Australasian Survey of Student Engagement
    8. 8. Australasian Survey of Student Engagement Feedback should be: • Timely • Detailed • Lead to Improvement
    9. 9. Wonderful feedback, but who saw it? 10
    10. 10. Assignment Inline Grading Workflow 11
    11. 11. What did we hit? 12 Feedback is targeted & timely Assessment is efficient & effective Student Experience is straight forward. Academic experience is straight forward & efficient Digital Breadcrumbs -> Insight & Analytics Process that drives continual improvement
    12. 12. Critical Alignment 13
    13. 13. Graduate recruitment lowest since records began (AFR: Mar-2014) 14 • Poor quality of graduates is a significant problem with nearly one fifth of employers saying “quality, experience and skill of the graduate” was the key issue affecting their hiring. • Employers are looking for; • Interpersonal & Communications Skills - most sought after • Passion, knowledge of industry, drive, commitment & attitude • Critical reasoning & analytical skills • Caliber of academic results Source:
    14. 14. 15
    15. 15. Define: Industry Connection 16
    16. 16. Define: Know the Content and how to teach it. 17
    17. 17. DEFINE – Program Learning Goals & Objectives 18
    18. 18. DEFINE – Program Learning Goals & Objectives 19 Where do we do it? When do we do it? How do we do it? How well can our students do it?
    19. 19. DEFINE – Program Learning Goals & Objectives 20
    20. 20. ALIGN – Curricula with adopted goals 21
    21. 21. MEASURE – Identify the instruments and measures to assess learning 22
    22. 22. MEASURE – Identify the instruments and measures to assess learning 23 Goal alignments to the collective rubric Goal alignments to the rubric criteria
    23. 23. ANALYSE – Collect, Analyse & Disseminate Assessment Information 24
    24. 24. ANALYSE – Collect, Analyse & Disseminate Assessment Information 25
    25. 25. ANALYSE – Collect, Analyse & Disseminate Assessment Information 26
    26. 26. USE – Assessment information for continuous improvement 27
    27. 27. Outcomes Repository Copies of Artifacts & Assignments Blackboard Learn Courses Assignments + Artifacts Search + Discover Review + Report Reports & Analysis Rubric Scores From Courses Secondary Evaluation or Rubric Scores From Courses Course-Embedded Assessment
    28. 28. Thank you! 31 Session Objective: For participants in today’s session to take back actionable ideas that can support an institution’s assessment process and program of continual improvement.