System for Competency-Based Tracking of Student Progress in Graduate Education

Technology #16121

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Researchers
Patricia Ann Van Wert
Christy G. Ewing
Managed By
Zahara M. Jaffer
Assistant Director 352-392-8929

Database Enables Consistent Assessment of Student and Program Competencies

This tracking database allows educational programs to assess student progress towards mastery of program competencies, as well as evaluate program strengths and weaknesses that affect student competency progression. Recent publications in top medical journals have recommended that medical schools would ensure consistent quality and a more robust ability to meet the expectations of program stakeholders, if benchmarking were implemented to monitor performance of educational activities. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a competency-training database that can be used as a tool to maintain quality and track results of educational systems. This provides a link between student assignment results and development of core skillsets (identified by program faculty), allowing program administrators to track student progress, staff competency, and overall program quality. Educational programs can use this database to ensure continuous quality improvement and an ongoing, relevant curriculum that meets the expectations of students and their future employers.

Application

Database system to track competency of educational programs and assess student progress toward mastery of those competencies

Advantages

  • Informs educators about strengths and weaknesses of their program’s curriculum, allowing better preparation for accreditation assessments
  • Provides administrators with a framework for continuous self-assessment, facilitating apples-to-apples comparisons with peer education programs
  • Enables rapid evaluation of student progress towards mastery of program benchmarks, enhancing ability of educators to adequately meet the needs of each student

Technology

This competency-progress assessment program provides a framework for measuring student progress towards competencies that align with the mission of the education program and potential careers of the graduates. For each course in the curriculum, program faculty develop class assignments that are linked to specific program competencies. To track success of competency training, a database is used to map each assignment for each course to each competency for each student. Using student scores entered for each assignment, each semester the program can track attainment of competency mastery over time by each student, focusing on advantages or obstacles presented by each assignment, course, and instructor. The database produces clear results to assist in continuous improvement of student progress towards competencies aligned with the mission of the program and potential careers of graduates.