What is Program Assessment?

Program Assessment is a means of collecting artifacts submitted within courses, and assigning these artifacts to a committee that scores them using rubrics that tie the learning indicated to programmatic and institutional outcomes.

What Digication's Program Assessment can do for your campus

Digication's pathway to effective program assessment and reporting will take you from the initial preparatory stages of program assessment to the last phases of the reporting and accreditation process.

Effective and Authentic Assessment

Digication ensures that the assessment of student work and the overall assessment of a program's performance relies on authentic forms of learning evidence, and makes use of valid and reliable measurements. This is made possible by two main capabilities of the platform:

  • The possibility to systematically collect a large body of evidence of student work that reflects students' performance, with respect to a given subject matter and necessary practical aptitudes.
  • The possibility to determine the type of standards against which the collected evidence is to be assessed.

Education program administrators can use Digication to gather, archive, monitor, and aggregate a large pool of student learning data.

Data Collection

Digication renders the process of data collection seamless due to its nested model of assessment. Data for student competencies and program effectiveness can be collected from any number and types of sources: assignment responses, practicum performance, course-level outcomes, specialization-specific outcomes (e.g. special education, early childhood education), whole ePortfolios or just particular ePortfolio pages, and other types of student work.

The advantages are multiple.

This system of data collection allows for flexibility in determining what type of student artifact or performance can be counted as evidence of a specific competency of interest: different analyses of data can be run by probing the same student artifact to answer different types of questions about learning outcomes. Student work can be now assessed as the multilayered source of information about a student's competencies that it actually is. Conversely, a large range of student contributions and kinds of performance can be taken as relevant evidence to assess the extent to which students possess a given competency.

In addition, Digication data-collection system provides administrators with authentic forms of learning evidence. The student work that can be archived as learning evidence by the system is not limited to performance on artificial, simplistic tasks of problem solving. It can take various forms that reflect students' practical abilities and the range of their knowledge about a given subject matter as it is expressed by their responses to real world teaching situations and their projects-centered performance.

Mapping to Relevant Learning Standards

Each of the forms of evidence can be mapped directly to a type of learning outcome that is considered of interest.

Digication provides here a large range of flexibility allowing users to define and determine what types of learning standards they want to associate with specific forms of evidence. As explained, each student artifact or performance can be treated as a form of learning evidence to which specific competency standards can be associated. Digication allows faculty and administrators to associate learning standards and rubrics to any such forms of evidence: from assignment-responses, to capstone courses, practicum performances, specialization core courses, individual ePortfolios and so on.

Importantly, faculty and administrators can define their own learning standards and rubrics and populate the Digication assessment system with the standards they author. These standards can be aligned further to the institution's standards and mapped to the institution's overall mission.

Data Analysis

The learning evidence collected and mapped to desired learning standards can be analyzed as a function of various categories of interest. They can define and measure their program's acceptable range of performance, and identify the areas that require improvement.

As such, Digication enables administrators to close the loop that allows for the insights gained through data analysis to feed back into policies for program improvement. The analyses run on Digication-based data constitute a stepping stone for developing evidence-based agendas of curriculum development and program-effectiveness, and over time, become a mirror of a program's progress towards realizing its stated mission.

Clear and Transparent Reporting

The nested assessment processes described above lies at the core of a well-planned and evidence-supported reporting strategy that provides accreditation bodies with the necessary information for making their decisions. Adopting the Digication system as an intrinsic part of a program's life ensures that the program's reporting needs are met.

With Digication, programs can archive authentic forms of learning evidence, and leverage them to demonstrate that their completers have the right dispositions and the knowledge to meet the expectations associated with a career in teaching, and with specialized forms of teaching.

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