Academic journal article Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management

Incorporating Outcomes Assessment and Rubrics into Case Instruction

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management

Incorporating Outcomes Assessment and Rubrics into Case Instruction

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Outcomes Assessment (OA) has emerged as the systemic mechanism for academic institutions to demonstrate to their stakeholders their viability as institutions that create and disseminate knowledge. Properly implementing outcomes assessment plans has been of paramount concern to postsecondary academic institutions whose accrediting bodies are requiring that institutions demonstrate that they have in fact achieved their goals and objectives. This study posits a preliminary methodology (a before/after study) for using grading rubrics, an instrument developed through outcomes assessment programs, for analyzing students' oral and written analyses of business cases. Results from the first round of data gathering from students' oral presentations are presented.

Introduction and Background

Outcomes Assessment (OA) has emerged as the systemic mechanism for academic institutions to demonstrate to their stakeholders their viability as institutions that create and disseminate knowledge. Properly implementing outcomes assessment plans has been of paramount concern to postsecondary academic institutions whose accrediting bodies are requiring that institutions demonstrate that they have in fact achieved their goals and objectives. For example, The Middle States Commission on Higher Education in their mission statement indicated that they are "dedicated to quality assurance and improvement through accreditation via peer evaluation. Middle States accreditation instills public confidence in institutional mission, goals, performance, and resources through its rigorous accreditation standards and their enforcement." (Middle States Commission on Higher Education, n.d.) Middle States has in fact produced a brochure that clarifies for these academic institutions Middle States' expectations regarding Institutional Assessment and Assessment of Student Learning entitled Assessing Student Learning and Institutional Effectiveness: Understanding Middle States Expectations. (Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 2005)

Outcome Assessment and Schools of Business

Outcome Assessment has not o nly affected institutions of higher learning as a whole but schools of business administration in particular since their specific supra accrediting bodies have adopted OA as the process in which schools must demonstrate student learning. IACBE, a business accrediting body addressing the needs of teaching institutions, claims that they are

a leader in outcomes-based assessment and accreditation, in which excellence in business education is evaluated based on the results of the assessment of educational outcomes, rather than on prescriptive input standards. The IACBE believes that educational quality must be measured by outcomes rather than inputs, because inputs do not necessarily correlate with quality outcomes, since the quality of outcomes is dependent not only on inputs, but also on the processes used by the institution and its business programs to convert inputs to outcomes. The only accurate way to measure excellence in business education, therefore, is through the assessment of educational outcomes. (IACBE, n.d.)

AACSB, the oldest accrediting body of business schools, went one step further to more closely connect outcomes measures to performance standards. They

changed [the standards] to reflect the maturity of the "outcomes assessment" movement and need for improved accountability measures. The 2003 standards place[d] emphasis on direct assessments of student learning. In mandating direct assessment, AACSB expects accredited institutions to formulate specific learning goals and conduct appropriate direct assessments of learning for purposes of improving curricula when deficiencies or opportunities for improvement are found. (AACSB International Accreditation Coordinating Committee, AACSB International Accreditation Quality Committee, November 20, 2007)

Schools of Business have therefore been charged with the responsibility of not only documenting that student learning has occurred but that the learning has occurred at least in part due to the students' exposure to the college's curriculum and exp licitly the specific curriculum for the students' majors in business administration. …

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