[Skip to Content]
Home    About Us    Blog


Accreditation – Billie Beane, the Oakland A's and Crosswalking Curriculum and Evaluation

The importance of integrating curriculum and evaluation

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 5069
This was another one of those challenging blogs for me.  Crosswalking the curriculum and evaluation is an important topic.  It makes sense and seems straight forward.  However, in practice it can quickly become complicated and overwhelmingly detailed.  As I found when trying to write this blog. There were way too many drafts that were too dense, too theoretical, too dry, too long, etc.  And then I remembered the movie Moneyball…   

In order to answer questions about the effectiveness of training – Where is the program working?  Where does it need to be changed? – the curriculum and the evaluation/assessment measures need to be mapped onto each other.  The Oakland A's did it beautifully.  When curriculum and evaluation are integrated, transformation can occur. 

One practical method for integrating curriculum and evaluation is to “crosswalk” between the two – pairing every curriculum component with specific evaluation or assessment measures.  Let's work our way through the process.

Accreditation--Standard 3 Evaluation

Developing Your Program's Evaluation Plan

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 1430

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 1236

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 1527

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 1172

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.