Assessment and Simulations: Measuring the Academic Learning Compacts Within

Martin J. Hornyak, E. Brian Peach, Stephen J. Snyder

Abstract


"A question posed for institutions of higher learning today is, how can the outcomes it desires in graduates be assessed to ensure compliance with educational standards? In summer 2004, our State legislature directed universities and colleges to develop key Student Learning Objectives (SLO) that meet newly established Academic Learning Compacts (ALC) in curriculums. One State-designated learning domain is for students to demonstrate the SLO, Project Management (PM), and this requires it to be measured and evaluated. As an activity completed daily by students, as well as professional managers in the working world, task completion and assessing associated project management activities can involve examining the many complex processes required to successfully complete a project. At our university, we view everyone (i.e. students, faculty, and family) as a project manager with obligations to complete to graduate. For example, our College of Business (COB) students must successfully complete a required business policy analysis and formulation course that engage student teams in a unique learning opportunity by participating 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 measure and evaluate teams and individual students on sound PM practices. Each competing team is able to become the simulations best performing group by applying good PM skills. Teams balance a myriad of performance factors using methods and techniques learned in the COB’ core requirement courses that assist in crafting and executing selected business strategies. A newly developed rubric to measure PM is being evaluated to assess SLO accomplishment. Team members, rating each other on performed PM activities, and final team simulation performance standings are used to assess if the PM SLO has an effect final simulation performance. "

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