The Associate Dean of Assessment and the Assessment Committee are responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data collected within the School. Sources of information include internally generated data and external data, allowing for comparisons with a peer group of schools and Schools.
The School has adopted a balanced scorecard approach to evaluating performance, which is an approach intended to clearly communicate our priorities to all stakeholders.
The development of our plan began with our current mission and vision statements, which can be found here. ULM School of Pharmacy Mission
We then identified four perspectives of operations for our organization: Quality of Output (our students), Program Quality, Internal Processes, and Skills and Tools and key performance indicators (KPI) for each perspective. Mapping the KPI allowed the visualization of the cause-and-effect relationships that exist among the various indicators.
Once the various KPI were identified, strategic planning sessions were conducted to identify strategic initiatives that will improve our performance in each area, resulting in the School’s strategic plan. Each faculty member should consider the KPI and the strategic initiatives when developing their annual plan for performance.
The next step was to develop the Balanced Scorecard, which will assist the Associate Dean of Assessment and the Assessment committee in the oversight of the School’s performance.
This Scorecard assists the Assessment committee in evaluating progress in key areas. The information required for the Balanced Scorecard is requested from various offices and committees within the School. In addition, information on curricular Assessment is requested from the curriculum and mile marker committees. All of this information is reviewed by the members of the Assessment committee on an annual basis, following a general schedule developed according to the timing of the availability of the information. Recommendations from the Assessment committee are communicated to the various responsible parties and subsequent actions are communicated back to the Assessment committee.
The Assessment committee evaluates the results of all AACP surveys (faculty, graduating students, preceptors, and alumni). Significant trends are reported to the entire faculty either in a faculty meeting or other form of communication. Specific areas of concern are forwarded to the appropriate office or committee to be addressed, in a process that follows that for internally generated information. Schools for peer comparisons are chosen based upon several factors, such as location, public vs. private, and size.
This process allows the Associate Dean of Assessment and the Assessment committee to analyze key trends and recommend action in a timely manner, so as to favorably impact our ultimate goal of producing qualified healthcare professionals. The key performance indicators in the areas of Program Quality, Internal Processes, and Skills and Tools are formative as they guide improvements in the short-term, while those in the area of Quality of Output are summative, as they reflect measures of our final performance.
In the fall of 2015, the School adopted a new Student Assessment Plan, in order to provide formative and summative knowledge- and performance- based assessments. The initial phase of this plan is to integrate 2-3 longitudinal assessment questions per credit hour that are based on the material covered in the course. These questions will be of the scope and depth typical to NAPLEX questions will be assigned weights of zero on the exam. This will conform to the ACPE requirement for formative assessment as students will receive combined Strengths and Opportunities reports reflecting ACPE Appendix 1 topic areas and NAPLEX blueprint areas for assessment items given in all finals each semester. The longitudinal analysis function in ExamSoft will allow reports to be run at the individual and aggregate levels, satisfying this component of the ACPE standards.
Although the exam blueprint will be based on course rather than curricular outcomes, it is intended that every outcome will be tested multiple times throughout the curriculum. The Assessment committee will track the outcomes being tested and ensure that all curricular outcomes are represented across the sequence.
The PCOA will be administered at the end of April during the P3 spring semester for a final piece of formative feedback.
The Student Assessment Plan culminates with a 1-hour P4 Capstone course for which students will be required to register in the final year of the curriculum. This course will be pass/fail, and grades will be based upon a series of multiple-choice exams developed from the item bank of a predefined NAPLEX review book and students’ performance on the errors/omissions (E&O) and objective structured clinical exams (OSCEs). This course will serve as summative feedback of knowledge- and performance- based assessments.
The findings of the Assessment plan are available on the Mission, Planning, and Evaluation section of the School’s website for review by all interested stakeholders. A link allowing anonymous input is also available.