Administrative Considerations Pertaining to the Use of Creative Methods of Student Assessment: A Theoretically Grounded Reflection from a Master of Biostatistics Program

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Student evaluation is a key consideration for educational program administrators because program success depends on students' ability to demonstrate successful development of core competencies. Student evaluations must therefore be aligned with learning objectives and overall program goals. Graduate level educational programs typically incorporate course-level and program-level evaluations, e.g., a final examination in a single course vs. a qualifying examination that assesses knowledge gained from several courses. While there is often considerable attention given to the structure of these evaluations at the program level, the format is typically left to the instructor's discretion. We argue in this article that there are administrative advantages to encouraging instructors to adopt creative forms of assessment that extend beyond the typical concerns related to program structure. Specifically, we argue that advantages can be gained in terms of increasing student engagement, adding real world context to student evaluations, maintaining positive program culture, and reducing the opportunity for cheating. We present two examples of creative assessments implemented in a 2-year Master of Biostatistics program, along with a discussion of three key questions administrators should consider as they work with instructors to develop innovative assessment methods: (1) what changes to make; (2) in what order to make those changes; and (3) how to consult with instructors about making those changes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Troy, JD; Neely, ML; Pomann, GM; Grambow, SC; Samsa, GP

Published Date

  • January 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 105 - 113

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1927-2685

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1927-2677

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.5430/JCT.V11N5P105

Citation Source

  • Scopus