ERIC Number: EJ1132668
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
Why Assessment Will Never Work at Many Business Schools: A Call for Better Utilization of Pedagogical Research
Bacon, Donald R.; Stewart, Kim A.
Journal of Management Education, v41 n2 p181-200 Apr 2017
On the long and arduous journey toward effective educational assessment, business schools have progressed in their ability to clearly state measurable learning goals and use direct measures of student learning. However, many schools are wrestling with the last stages of the journey--measuring present learning outcomes, implementing curricular/pedagogical changes, and then measuring postchange outcomes to determine if the implemented changes produced the desired effect. These last steps are particularly troublesome for a reason unrecognized in the assessment literature--inadequate statistical power caused primarily by the use of small student samples. Analyses presented here demonstrate that assessment efforts by smaller schools may never provide the statistical power required to obtain valid results in a reasonable time frame. Consequently, decisions on curricular and pedagogical change are too often based on inaccurate research findings. Rather than waste time and resources toward what essentially is a statistical dead end, an alternate approach is recommended: Schools should examine published pedagogical studies that use direct measures of learning with sufficient statistical power and utilize the findings to improve student learning.
Descriptors: Business Schools, Statistical Analysis, Educational Research, Research Utilization, Educational Assessment, Curriculum Development, Sample Size, Data, Decision Making, Evidence Based Practice
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A