Monthly Archives: March 2014

Cyclical Assessment Process

The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ Committee on Assessment and Outcomes utilizes a built-in, cyclical assessment process throughout the year. This process allows for each program’s achievement of goals and outcomes to be analysed at some point in the academic year by the committee. Each month when the committee meets, a different program presents their ‘assessment matrix’. This matrix is a functional table, that organizes and describes the program’s goals, outcomes, measures, targets, findings and associated action plans. We have found this process to be useful, and it has turned into an organizational fundamental for our institution. We view this systematic approach to the measurement of goals and outcomes as a type of internal program review. The process itself forces us to continuously look at ourselves, and think about ways we can improve how and what we assess within our programs.

By taking a big project (analysing each programs’ goals and outcomes) and breaking it up into smaller bits, one month at a time, we have given the committee time to look at other things. This allows us to get away from having a rushed large scale review of all programs in a month or two at the end of the academic year. This ongoing programmatic review process has simply become another part of what we do, on a rolling basis, and enhanced the ‘continuous’ part of our continuous quality improvement efforts.


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Filed under Methods, Outcomes Assessment

“Social Media Go to College”

Recently, Change Magazine published a very useful article on Social Media and their role in higher education. Here’s a quote from Social Media Go to College, by Ana M. Martinez-Aleman:

“Social media broaden the scope and increase the ways of learning course content; they may also draw out students’ many different talents in ways that traditional pedagogy does not. But faculty who use them should communicate clear and rigorous expectations for student use.

The challenges and responsibilities ahead lay at the feet of postsecondary faculty and administrators. Faculty need to explore the promise of using social media as supplementary or primary instructional tools. At the same time, more research needs to be conducted on the effects of social media on cognition.”

Social Media Go to College

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Filed under Culture, Methods, Social Media

Alumni – Keeping in Touch

In the assessment community, we continuously hear about efforts being made to reach an alumni base that is increasingly more available online, but for some reason, harder to track down. We use several techniques to build our Pharmacy alumni database. As we’ve blogged about before, the Office of Assessment currently manages the College’s Facebook and Twitter pages (as well as this blog). These social media sites function as an excellent modes of communication between the college and all stakeholders (current students, alumni and faculty). We currently use both Facebook and Twitter (Twitter, Facebook) in several important ways:

-Board exam review question contests

-Student event announcements

-Important registration announcements

-Requests for feedback

-Important University re-posts/re-tweets

-Multimedia posts (pictures from student events, ceremonies etc.)

One of the more functional aspects of these sites, is the interconnectivity between them. For example, once this blog entry gets posted, it is also automatically cross-posted to Twitter and Facebook. This connection is important in maintaining a cohesive mode of communication that can be accessed through whichever channel is most convenient for our users. Correspondingly, the users help maintain their connection to us. If we need to ask our alumni for help, surveys or general questions, we know where to go to ask.

The Office of Assessment also continuously updates alumni contact information such as email addresses and phone numbers in order to notify alumni regarding important events or college news. This is done by requesting personal e-mail addresses from graduating pharmacy students, every April, before graduation. This year, we will be expanding this process to include all graduating students from other programs. It is essential to obtain alumni contact information before our students walk out the door at graduation. By engaging our future alumni now, we won’t have to bother them later. We are able to keep them engaged, share useful information, and not overwhelm them with repetitive emails. They choose to engage with us through whatever social media platform they prefer, we just need to make sure that we are available there for them.

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Filed under Exit Interviews, Methods

ACPE Standards Revision

ACPE (Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education) has recently published a draft of the proposed 2016 standards revision, along with a guidance document (suggested strategies for quality improvement). All stakeholders are invited by ACPE to take advantage of this opportunity to comment through one of the outlined procedures found at the site linked below.

ACPE standards are used as the basis for accreditation for Pharmacy schools, setting the bar for pharmacy education. It is important that our students, faculty, preceptors and alumni are involved in this draft process and take this opportunity to provide valuable feedback.


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Filed under Accreditation, Practice, Self-Study