Assessment of Non-Traditional Programs and Students


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Presentation given by Gail Matthews-DeNatale and Sarah Volkman at the 2009 Colleges of the Fenway Teaching and Learning Conference.

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  • GAIL : Intro
  • GAIL There are two operative terms in the title of our presentation: Assessment, and Non Traditional Assessment can be a daunting word, but it’s actually something that faculty have a LOT of experience. Our work in higher education has three components: Teaching, Service, and Research. Because Assessment is a form of research, we can use our skills in one domain to inform our work in another. So for the purposes of this presentation, Assessment is a form of research, whether it’s an investigation into what students know/understand, how a program is going, etc.
  • GAIL : For the purpose of this presentation, Non-Traditional is any student or program that doesn’t fit into the straight-from-high school, residential undergraduate experience. Let’s begin by looking at the characteristics of a non-traditional student, and then extend into the characteristics of a non-traditional program … and in doing do, it becomes obvious that non-traditional is actually the norm. (Source: National Center for Educational Statistics) Put yourself in the shoes of this type of learner. As a “non-traditional” student, What are your most pressing concerns? What are your needs? What are your interests? What are your goals?
  • Gail: Once again, put yourselves in the learner’s shoes. As a “non-traditional” student, What kinds of course WORK would be most relevant and engaging to you? What kinds of assessment would be most appropriate for this type of course work?
  • SARAH: Describe the format and features of these programs
  • Gail: Pick the example that is most closely aligned with your profession.
  • GAIL This is the million dollar question
  • Gail
  • SARAH: Specific Example from own teaching
  • SARAH: Specific Example from own teaching
  • SARAH: Specific Example from own teaching
  • SARAH: Specific Example from own teaching
  • SARAH: Specific Example from own teaching
  • GAIL: Specific Examples from BL Initiative – see handouts
  • GAIL: Specific examples from Simmons Blended Learning Initiative
  • Assessment of Non-Traditional Programs and Students

    1. 1. Assessment of Non-Traditional Programs and Students Gail Matthews-DeNatale Sarah Volkman Simmons College
    2. 2. Assessment as a Form of Research Identify Issue(s) Define Research Question Design, Implement Strategy Interpret Data Act Upon Findings
    3. 3. Non-Traditional as the Norm * NCES 20002 Study, 75% of all undergraduates have at least one characteristic of the non-traditional student Non-Traditional Is Usually the Norm * <ul><li>Delays enrollment after high school graduation </li></ul><ul><li>Attends college part time, </li></ul><ul><li>Works full time, </li></ul><ul><li>Is financially independent, </li></ul><ul><li>Has children or other dependents, </li></ul><ul><li>Is a single parent, and/or </li></ul><ul><li>Has a GED. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Students Needs Shape Both Programs and Assessments Non-Traditional Student Goals and Needs <ul><li>Triggers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal life transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desire to advance or change jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Needs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexibility and accessibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affordability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support and mentoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognize life experience as a form of knowledge (has implications for assessment) </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Non-Traditional Programs <ul><li>Satellite or offsite programs </li></ul><ul><li>Evenings and weekends </li></ul><ul><li>“ Nano” intensives </li></ul><ul><li>Certificate programs </li></ul><ul><li>Accelerated degree programs </li></ul><ul><li>Blended/Hybrid (many models for this) </li></ul><ul><li>Fully Online </li></ul>Expanding the Possibilities for Higher Education
    6. 6. Goals and Intended Use <ul><li>Formative, Summative - What’s Your Use? </li></ul><ul><li>To inform future work OR evaluate accomplishments of students </li></ul><ul><li>To inform program offerings OR to evaluate the effectiveness of programs that are in place </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear, up front, with yourself and students </li></ul>
    7. 7. Focus of Assessment <ul><li>What are you assessing? </li></ul><ul><li>Student learning </li></ul><ul><li>Portion of a course (segment of the course or important concept) </li></ul><ul><li>Course (formative or summative) </li></ul><ul><li>Degree or certificate program </li></ul>
    8. 8. Thought Experiment: What would a professional in a given discipline (expert) DO with the following? Begin With Evidence How might a professional go about creating these?
    9. 9. … AND What assessment(s) would provide you with information on what students DID with these? Then Design Assessment Or how they went about creating these?
    10. 10. “ Non-Traditional” Assessment In Conjunction with Novice-to-Expert Rubrics <ul><li>Group Work </li></ul><ul><li>Case Study </li></ul><ul><li>Thought Experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Peer-to-Peer Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Observation & Shadowing </li></ul><ul><li>Role Play & Simulation </li></ul><ul><li>ePortfolio </li></ul>Draw on Life Experience Prepare For New Life Chapter
    11. 11. Assessment Example: Student Nursing 404 Advanced Human Pathophysiology
    12. 12. Assessment Parameters Non-traditional student: Nurse or nursing student with clinical practice experience Requirement: Integration and application of core chemical and physiologic competencies Desired Outcomes: Ability to apply basic principles to a variety of clinical settings Approach: Clinical case scenarios
    13. 13. The Case Study <ul><li>Scenario: Patient comes to the emergency room with shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. </li></ul><ul><li>Data Provided: Physical exam results, chest x-ray, lab results (arterial blood gas – pH, CO 2 , and HCO 3 - ) </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge: Determine what is going on with the patient with regard to acid base equilibrium. </li></ul>
    14. 14. What Do They Do With These? [H+] = 24 X PCO 2 [HCO 3 - ] To Solve THIS Problem
    15. 15. Assessment Outcomes/Analysis <ul><li>Professional Expectation: Able to assess a patient for simple acid-base disturbances </li></ul><ul><li>Core Competencies: Understand the chemical equation and the physiology that explains acid-base equilibrium </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome: Student practices integration and application of content to practice experience </li></ul>Question: How does the student apply core competencies to the scenario? How does this compare with what an “expert” would do?
    16. 16. Assessment Example: Course Simmons Blended Learning Initiative
    17. 17. Improving Courses and Teaching Strategies: Self/Peer – Before, During, After Checklists Student Surveys – CLASSE, BL Assumptions
    18. 18. Gail Matthews-DeNatale [email_address] Sarah Volkman [email_address]
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