Continuing To Assess Project Management: What’s been Done? What’s it Means? Looking At New Twists


  • Martin J. Hornyak
  • K. Blaine Lawlor
  • E. Brian Peach


"A question posed for institutions of higher learning is how can student outcomes it desires in graduates be assessed to ensure compliance with educational standards? In summer 2004, the State legislature directed universities and colleges to develop key Academic Learning Outcomes (ALO) that meet the established Academic Learning Compacts in curriculums. The State wants students to be able to perform an ALO like Project Management (PM) and it requires this learning domain to be measured and evaluated. Everyone at our university (i.e. students and faculty) are project managers having tasks and requirements to complete prior to graduation. For example, College of Business (COB) students must successfully complete a business policy analysis and formulation course. This course engages student teams to compete in a business strategy simulation. Students are responsible for PM activities that structure, organize, and assess the simulation effort throughout the semester. Rubrics have been developed to evaluate teams and individual students on sound practices as defined in the ALO for PM. Each competing team has the opportunity to be the simulations best performing group by applying learned PM skills. Teams must balance a myriad of performance factors using methods and techniques learned in COB core courses to craft and execute selected business strategies. A rubric, evolving since 2006, is used to evaluate and assess student performance of the PM learning outcomes. Team members, not faculty, rate each other on their performance of each PM activity. This evaluation and the final team simulation performance standings are then used to assess if the PM ALO has had an effect on final simulation performance. "