The Individual Programmatic Assessment Research Paper

The individual programmatic assessment involves a series of activities that allow a department or school to determine how well students are successfully achieving program goals. Following a program review, departments can choose to make any necessary adjustments to their curricula and associated courses in order to enhance student learning. In many cases, programmatic review focuses on specific majors and/or minors within a department, although it can certainly incorporate core curriculum and general elective courses as well.

Statement of the problem

The adequate assessment of the student performance and their academic development is pivotal for the overall assessment of the quality of education within a school, school department, state and the federal level. However, today, there is no homogeneous method of the assessment of students’ performance and educators are looking for effective methods that can help to conduct the assessment succinctly to measure the progress of students and the quality of education. The individual programmatic assessment may be one of such methods of the assessment of student performance at different levels. In fact, this method can help to conduct the measurement of the progress of students and their academic development to conduct the assessment of the quality of education in the particular school or school district. However, the individual programmatic assessment is a relatively new method, which needs the detailed study before the implementation in the school environment. This is why the proposed study has to reveal the applicability of the individual programmatic assessment to the real world school environment and find out whether this method is worth implementing in the contemporary school environment, what challenges may arise and how this method may be implemented successfully.

Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study is to find out the applicability of the individual programmatic assessment to the contemporary school environment as the method of the assessment of the student performance and the assessment of the quality of education. In addition, the study focuses on the analysis of mechanisms of the application of the individual programmatic assessment in schools. The study will help to reveal possible effects of the implementation of the individual programmatic assessment and evaluate its effectiveness. In such a way, the study will open large opportunities for the further study of the individual programmatic assessment and effective ways of its implementation in the contemporary school setting to minimize challenges and maximize its positive effects.

Hypothesis

The hypothesis of the proposed study is as follows:

The implementation of the individual programmatic assessment can bring positive effects for the assessment of the student performance and increase the accuracy of such assessment due to the personalized and objective assessment of the performance of each student.

Research questions

  •  Can the individual programmatic assessment be applied in the contemporary school setting?
  •  What are expected effects of the implementation of the individual programmatic assessment in the contemporary school environment?
  •  How can the individual programmatic assessment be implemented and what challenges may arise in the course of its implementation?

Definition of terms

Individual programmatic assessment is involves a series of activities focused on the personalized approach to the assessment of each student that allow a department or school to determine how well students are successfully achieving program goals.

Assumptions

The individual programmatic assessment is a relatively new assessment method that may be used in the contemporary school environment, but this method is under-researched. This is why the current study is likely to reveal the applicability of the individual programmatic assessment to the contemporary school setting. The study intends to show that the individual programmatic assessment is possible and worthy to apply. Moreover, the study will also show that the individual programmatic assessment is likely to have challenges that can make the implementation of this assessment method difficult. On the other hand, the individual programmatic assessment is the personalized assessment method that means that this method has a considerable potential for the accurate, objective and effective assessment of the student performance.

Literature review

Programmatic assessment is an integral approach to the design of an assessment program with the intent to optimize its learning function, its decision-making function and its curriculum quality-assurance function. Individual methods of assessment, purposefully chosen for their alignment with the curriculum outcomes and their information value for the learner, the teacher and the organization, are seen as individual data points (Doll & Gough, 2001). The information value of these individual data points is maximized by giving feedback to the learner.

There is a decoupling of assessment moment and decision moment. Intermediate and high-stakes decisions are based on multiple data points after a meaningful aggregation of information and supported by rigorous organizational procedures to ensure their dependability.

Self-regulation of learning, through analysis of the assessment information and the attainment of the ensuing learning goals, is scaffold by a mentoring system.

Programmatic assessment-for-learning can be applied to any part of the training continuum, provided that the underlying learning conception is constructivist.

Some of the existing studies (Doll, 2001) propose a model for programmatic assessment in action, which simultaneously optimizes assessment for learning and assessment for decision making about learner progress. This model is based on a set of assessment principles that are interpreted from empirical research. It specifies cycles of training, assessment and learner support activities that are complemented by intermediate and final moments of evaluation on aggregated assessment data points (Marzano, McNulty, & Waters, 2005). The key principle is that individual data points are maximized for learning and feedback value, whereas high-stake decisions are based on the aggregation of many data points (Pine & Gilmore, 2009). Therefore, studies reveal the importance of the personalized approach to the assessment of the performance with the help of the individual programmatic assessment. In fact, the individual programmatic assessment allows to conduct the personalized assessment of the performance of each student that will provide the broad and accurate information on the overall quality of education.

At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that methods used for the assessment of the academic development of students and their performance are often superficial and provide the generalized results. What is meant here is the fact that they do not take into consideration the individual progress every student makes in the course of his or her learning. Instead, existing and widely-applied methods of assessment are based on a series of tests that help to determine the current level of the academic development of students. As a result, the assessment brings generalized data how students perform at the moment.

However, such methods do not provide the high accuracy of the assessment of the individual progress of each student. For example, these methods will bring generalized results of all students, as some students will receive A grade, B grade, C grade and so on, but a student may receive C grade and still make a considerable progress in his or her academic development, if at the beginning of the learning year he or she was absolutely under-performing and faced a risk of falling out of school (Hooks, 1994). On the contrary, another student may receive good grades in the course of the assessment but he or she can make little progress in his or her academic development or even deteriorate his or her performance. Generalized methods of assessment and conventional tests do not reveal those differences and nuances and the student, who manifests good results in the course of the assessment will be considered as if he or she is performing well, although he or she may degrade his or her academic performance compared to the beginning of the year, while the student, who receives low assessment may be considered as performing poorly, although he or she might have made a tremendous progress in his or her academic performance in the course of a year, for example. This is why conventional methods of the assessment of the student performance are ineffective because they can just provide the general overview of the current academic level of the student development, but they do not reveal the actual progress of each student that is the real marker of the progress and academic development of students. In fact, if a student does not make any progress in his or her academic development, his or her learning is ineffective, even if the student has good grades and receives positive results after conventional tests and assessment tools being applied. On the other hand, the development of the individual programmatic assessment involves the adequate assessment of each student because this method focuses on the personalized approach to the assessment of the performance of each student. What is meant here is the fact that the individual programmatic assessment involves the analysis and assessment of the academic progress made by each student and how successful the student is in his or her academic performance now. This method is different from generalized tests and methods of assessment because the individual programmatic assessment is personalized.

Expert judgment plays an important role in the programmed (Finder, 2004). Professionals involved in the assessment should be well-qualified to be able to implement the individual programmatic assessment. Otherwise, they will be unable to apply the individual programmatic assessment successfully that may lead to negative effects of the assessment. For example, experts may just fail to assess the student performance accurately.

Fundamental is the notion of sampling and bias reduction to deal with the inevitable subjectivity of this type of judgment. Bias reduction is further sought in procedural assessment strategies derived from criteria for qualitative research (Volti, 2005).

At the same time, researchers (Finder, 2004) insist that the use of the individual programmatic assessment raises a number of challenges and opportunities around the proposed model. One of its prime virtues is that it enables assessment to move, beyond the dominant psychometric discourse with its focus on individual instruments, towards a systems approach to assessment design underpinned by empirically grounded theory.

The individual programmatic assessment may involve structural assessments, such as guided learning, in-baskets, critical situations, etc. Researchers (Friedman, 2005) distinguish several advantages of such assessment, including the following, the individual programmatic assessment provides realistic testing circumstance; reality engages and motivates students; promotes transfer of information, application; taps complex skills (Friedman, 2005).

On the other hand, researchers (Friedman, 2005) reveal possible disadvantages of the individual programmatic assessment, which may be: difficult to construct and measure; locating designed instruments is challenging; prone to history/context/age cohort effects; students may rely on common sense under pressure rather than their knowledge from the course (Friedman, 2005)

On analyzing both pros and contras of the individual programmatic assessment researchers provide their recommendations concerning the implementation of this assessment method to the contemporary school environment. First, the situation should correspond closely to the learning conditions to promote the best transfer of knowledge. Evaluating performance will be facilitated by clearly developed criteria. The quality of the rubric and the training of the evaluators will influence validity. If inter-rater reliability is not high, the results will be of limited value. Rubrics will sometimes not provide for unexpected, creative responses (Sergiovanni, 2005).

Methods

Population

The sample population involved in the study will include both students and educators. Participants will be selected randomly and engage students and educators from one school. There will be a test group and control group involved in the study.

Procedure:

The test individual programmatic assessment will be elaborated and implemented in the test group as an experiment will be conducted. The experiment will include the assessment of the student performance with the help of the individual programmatic assessment. Students’ performance will be measured before the experiment and after the experiment. In addition, there will be the control group, which will be assessed in the same way as the test group, i.e. before and after the experiment but, in contrast to the test group, the control group will not use the individual programmatic assessment. Instead, a conventional test or assessment method will be applied to measure their performance. In such a way, upon the completion of the experiment, the results of the two groups will show which method has proved to be more effective.

Instruments

The study will involve two assessment tools: the individual programmatic assessment and K-12 tests. The individual programmatic assessment will be applied to the test group and will eventually show either its effectiveness or ineffectiveness compared to the K-12 assessment. The latter will be applied to the control group and also reveal whether the individual programmatic assessment was effective or not. The group that shows better results, i.e. the group, which students make the most considerable progress in the course of the experiment, will show which method is more effective. Hence, if the test group manifests better results, then the individual programmatic assessment is more effective and, vice versa, if the control group manifests better results, then K-12 is more effective than the individual programmatic assessment.

Data analysis

The data will be collected by the researcher and all the data will be recorded and stored on the researcher’s computer to facilitate the access to the information relevant to the study and to facilitate the processing of the data collected in the course of the study. The data will be summarized and the researcher will be able to reveal the key findings of the study. On the ground of findings, the researcher will make conclusions concerning the applicability of the individual programmatic assessment and answer the research questions. Moreover, the results of the study should show whether the research hypothesis was right or not.

Discussion

The hypothesis of the study is relevant and up to date. The hypothesis implies that the implementation of the individual programmatic assessment can bring positive effects for the assessment of the student performance and increase the accuracy of such assessment due to the personalized and objective assessment of the performance of each student. The study will address this issue through the use of the individual programmatic assessment for the personalized assessment of the progress and performance of students in the test group. The results of the study are supposed to either prove or reject the hypothesis. For example, if the results allow rejecting the hypothesis, then the hypothesis was probably wrong and the individual programmatic assessment is not as effective as it was initially presumed. In such a case, the further study of the individual programmatic assessment will be necessary to find out whether there were some limitations within the current study that could interfere into results of the experiment. For example, probably the K-12 tests are not comparable as the system of assessment in relation to the individual programmatic assessment. The implications of the proposed study are broad since the study can help to prove the effectiveness of the individual programmatic assessment, identify challenges and show the way for the effective implementation of this particular assessment method. In addition, the study opens the way for further studies in the field of personalized assessment of the student performance. On the other hand, there are some limitations of the proposed study. For example, the study may involve the broader participant group as well as to back up the experiment with other methods, including methods of the qualitative analysis, such as interviews and questionnaires, which may help to reveal the attitude of educators and students to the individual programmatic assessment and other methods of assessment applied. Future research ideas and directions should involve the analysis of the effective ways of the implementation of the individual programmatic assessment, in case this method of assessment proves to be effective in the course of the study. In addition, further studies should focus on the elaboration of effective methods of assessment of student performance based on the personalized approach to each student.

Implications

Implications of the proposed study are broad. This study helps to find effective ways to conduct the assessment of the student performance in the contemporary school environment. The study also draws the attention to the importance of the objective and accurate assessment of the progress of every student. Further studies may expand findings of the current study and deepen findings made in the course of the study. In this regard, the study of effective ways of the implementation of the individual programmatic assessment is particularly prospective for further studies.

 

References:

Hooks, B. (1994). “Confronting Class in the Classroom.” In Teaching to Transgress. New York: Routledge.

Doll, W. (2001). “Beyond Methods?” In P. Marochnick, ed.  Passion and Pedagogy. New York:  Peter Lang.

Doll, W. and Gough, N. (2001). Curriculum Visions.  New York: Peter Lang.

Finder, M. (2004) Educating America: How Ralph W. Tyler Taught America to Teach. Westport: Praeger.

Friedman, T. L. (2005). The World is Flat.  New York, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Lambert, L. et al. (2002). The Constructivist Leader. New York, New York: Teachers College Press Corpus Christi.

Marzano, R. J., McNulty, B. A., Waters, T. (2005). School Leadership That Works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Pine, J. and Gilmore, J. (2009). The Experience Economy. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Sergiovanni, T. J. (2005). Strengthening the Heart. San Francisco

CA: Jossey-Bass.

Volti, R. (2005).  Society and Technological Change. New York: Random House.

 

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]
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