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ERIC Number: EJ1054997
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1942-2504
Customized versus Standardized Exams for Learning Outcomes Assessment in an Undergraduate Business Program
Phelps, Amy L.; Spangler, William E.
American Journal of Business Education, v6 n5 p521-530 2013
A standardized exam for program-level assessment can take the form of 1) a customized exam developed in-house by faculty and linked explicitly to program-level learning goals; or 2) a standardized exam developed externally by assessment experts and linked to a set of somewhat broader and more generalizable learning goals. This article discusses the design, development and implementation of a customized exam and subsequent transition to a commercial exam (i.e., the ETS Major Field Test), within an undergraduate business program. We discuss the lessons learned from our experience with the customized exam, our analysis of both the assessment process and the results gathered (primarily curriculum-related), and the rationale underlying the eventual migration to the commercial exam. Of particular emphasis is the situation-dependent and potentially complementary roles of the customized and commercial exams. In this regard we provide a comparison of the two approaches through a framework based on a set of administrative and assessment considerations. They include: relevance to learning goals, exam design and development process, delivery of the exam, impact on learning, impact on courses and curriculum, and impact on student monitoring and management. We note that although the customized exam no longer exists as a standalone assessment instrument, it continues to play a role in assessment by complementing other methods. This outcome, as well as the process leading to it, are potentially applicable to other institutions pursuing an evolutionary approach to learning outcomes assessment.
Clute Institute. 6901 South Pierce Street Suite 239, Littleton, CO 80128. Tel: 303-904-4750; Fax: 303-978-0413; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Major Field Achievement Test in Business
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A