Providing evidence of learning outcomes against learning goals is the deceptively simple objective of assurance of learning initiatives that, in practice, turns out to be complex and time-consuming to accomplish.
Chicago, Illinois August 16, 2013
To help business schools manage the task as effectively and efficiently as possible, Capsim has revised the business competency exam Comp-XM with new features that turn a final exam into a complete assurance of learning (AoL) tool.
Backed by systematic test development research, Comp-XM offers an evidence-based approach to assessing learning outcomes for grading, while new AoL reports efficiently summarize the results for inclusion in accreditation documentation, continuous improvement of the overall curriculum, as well as feedback to faculty on their own course effectiveness.
“Comp-XM’s testing and reporting method overcomes one of the biggest challenges of assessing learning in university settings – capturing students’ capability to actually apply the knowledge they’ve mastered in their coursework,” according to Dr. Erich Dierdorff, Associate Professor of Management at DePaul University in Chicago and lead consultant on the Comp-XM revision project. “Bridging the ‘knowing-doing’ gap, Comp-XM provides both an assessment of acquired knowledge and a picture of how effectively students use this knowledge to manage a business in a changing and competitive market. “
Valid and accurate assessment, of course, requires test security. Comp-XM employs two tactics to reduce the probability of cheating in the exam. “The primary goal here,” Dr. Dierdorff said, “is to preclude any database of correct answers from being collected and shared among the student pool.”
The first tactic is ‘snowflake technology’ that creates a unique but comparable testing environment for each student. Students run their own individual simulated business in the exam, so each question is specific to the student’s business and yet equivalent across the class.
The second tactic uses ‘parallel items’ for each question. Comp-XM’s default exams are drawn from a database of equivalent items written by a panel of subject matter experts comprised of tenured business school professors across the full scope of functional domains. The parallel item database is regularly analyzed, revised, and updated through a rigorous and continuous review process.
“By evaluating general and management-specific knowledge and skills along with overall business acumen Comp-XM can bring a school’s learning goals to life,” Dr. Dierdorff said.
Capsim offer three sets of learning goals that can be used to summarize a program’s learning outcomes.
- General Learning Goals (Capsim’s Big 7) are distilled from more than 280 learning goals established by more than 50 business schools. These goals were clustered based on content to produce seven essential learning goals common to almost all business schools.
- Managerial Competencies is a list of six key competencies required of all managerial roles, based on a study or more than 8000 managers in 52 distinct managerial occupations.
- Finally, Capsim’s 14 legacy learning goals continue to be available. The original Comp-XM learning goals were produced following research with Capsim users in 2006. Schools can also develop and add their own learning goals.
“The overall result of the current Comp-XM revision,” Dr. Dierdorff said, “is an easy-to-use assurance of learning measurement and reporting tool that also serves as a final exam. It makes two previously complex and time-consuming tasks simpler while maintaining validity and veracity.”
For further information please contact Capsim at welcome(at)capsim(dot)com or sign up for our webinar discussing Assurance of Learning with Comp-XM in greater detail by registering here.