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Accreditation--Standard 3 Evaluation

Developing Your Program's Evaluation Plan

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 1334

Continuing the baking theme from the last curriculum blog – Have you ever watched The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) on PBS? It is an annual 10-week competition where harried amateur bakers demonstrate their craftsmanship with cakes, breads, pastries and desserts. There is running commentary by comedians as the contestants have meltdowns and stunning success.  There are experts judges giving unsparing critiques.  It is evaluation and assessment in action.

The GBBO will serve as a launching pad for a discussion about the characteristics of good evaluation and assessment plans.  We'll address the importance of linking the plans with the elements of Standard 3 (Evaluation). We'll conclude with examples of resources on the web that provide step-by-step guidance in developing evaluation plans.

Accreditation -- Standard 3 Evaluation


Candice Rettie, PhD 0 1164

Almost every day there is something in the news about the upcoming Olympics.  Will sanctions be applied? Is the water safe for sailing? How much of a threat is Zika?  What these questions have in common is that specific data has been gathered and analyzed, then conclusions have been drawn.  Evaluation has occurred.

As I listened to the news reports and watched some of the trials for the national US national Olympic team, I had a flashback to my freshman year in college.  I was a novice member of a high-powered swim team. That year, I had my own 'up close and personal' experience with the importance of targeted, rigorous assessment and evaluation. Slow swimmers can serve a purpose.  They don't move the team forward in the rankings, but they can be highly effective informal mascots and excellent instructors!

Accreditation -- Standard 2 Curriculum -- Learning Objectives

SMART objectives

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 1437

Sometimes real life intersects with educational theory.  That happened when I was baking cookies and thinking about learning objectives.  Learning objectives and recipes serve similar functions -- assuring consistency of outcomes.

The University of Colorado-Denver wrote the following about learning objectives in their faculty resource reference: “The philosopher Seneca once said, ‘If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.’ When you know where you are headed, you can more easily get there. Well-defined and articulated learning objectives are important because they:

  • provide students with a clear purpose to focus their learning efforts
  • direct your choice of instructional activities
  • guide your assessment strategies”

Writing SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound) objectives informs trainees and instructors about what they need to do to be successful. 

Musings -- Accreditation Provides Common Ground

Fairness, Objectivity, Veracity and Mutual Respect

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 1081

Current events continue to offer haunting stories of violence and destruction. Nevertheless, in the midst of tragedy, there continue to be acts of kindness, generosity, and mutual respect. What are the lessons to be learned that can make a real difference, now and in the future? What does it take to “keep calm and carry on”? Concepts that came to mind were fairness, openness, objectivity, veracity, and mutual respect.

As an accreditation agency, our goal is to have a cohesive accreditation process that exemplifies the concepts above.  

Musings -- Rainbows, July 4th, and Accreditation

Multiple perspectives yet a single perception

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 995
Rainbows are a gentle version of nature's fireworks. The colors of prisms arcing over the sky. It turns out that rainbows are always, and only, visible when observed from a position of 42 degrees from the direction opposite the light source.  Two people looking at the same colored arc from different positions will actually see different rainbows.  Finally, rainbows actually occur in the atmosphere as full circles. Accreditation has similar characteristics -- multiple perspectives of a single entity, constancy yet fluidity. Accreditation fosters a full cycle of review, affirmation and change.