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Suggested citation for this article: Harris JR, Cheadle A, Hannon PA, Forehand M, Lichiello P, Mahoney E, Snyder S, Yarrow J.
Wider adoption of evidence-based, health promotion practices depends on developing and testing effective dissemination approaches.
Although the public health community has developed many evidence-based practices to promote healthy behaviors, adoption of these practices has been haphazard (1,2).
Several conceptual frameworks have been developed to organize the extensive literature on diffusion and dissemination of evidence-based practices. These frameworks are useful for generating hypotheses for future research, but no practical framework exists for developing and testing dissemination approaches. We describe a practical framework for dissemination developed at the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC), a Prevention Research Center funded by CDC to conduct research on community-based prevention and control of chronic diseases.
The evidence-based practices that can be disseminated using our proposed framework (Figure) include environmental changes, policies, programs, and systems. Successful dissemination of evidence-based practices in a user organization involves a cascade of steps (Figure). Company: the capacity of the company (in our framework, the combined capacity of the researchers and disseminator) to support dissemination of the new practice(s).
By conducting a full market analysis, the disseminator will be prepared to decide which segments of potential user organizations to target and how to best position the evidence-based practice(s) for these targeted segments (14). In summary, the HPRC framework proposes that to disseminate evidence-based practices effectively, researchers must 1) collaborate with a disseminator and 2) work with user organizations to refine the practice and approach to dissemination, guided by the principles of social marketing. Package of 15 evidence-based workplace health promotion practices to improve workers’ cancer screening, nutrition, physical activity, tobacco cessation, and weight management.
Senior centers, community centers, and nonprofit and for-profit fitness organizations (eg, the YMCA).
Developed an online version of EF instructor training to reduce costs associated with training and to reach a wide instructor pool. Surveyed employers in target community of mid-sized employers in low-wage industries to assess their needs and resources. Interviewed ACS staff members to assess their readiness and training needs to support employers using ACS WPS. Senior Services licenses program and provides training, materials, and data management and analysis. Acquired approval for EF to be 1 of 5 evidence-based disease prevention programs included in the Administration on Aging (AoA) Choices for Independence grants, 2009. Worked to pass state laws that mandate workplace no-smoking policies as recommended by ACS WPS.
Worked to pass state-level legislative mandates for insurance for colorectal cancer screening as recommended by ACS WPS. Worked to increase state-level funding for tobacco-cessation quitlines for low-income, uninsured workers. Combined ACS WPS with another ACS workplace practice supported by state governments in Colorado, New Mexico, and Washington.
As of 2010, offered at 523 community locations in 32 states, and has served 23,241 participants; 10,282 in 2010. As of 2010, 1,385 employers had participated in ACS WPS, reaching more than 2.5 million workers. User organizations often have less access to or credibility with policy makers than do researchers. Influence policy and other changes needed to facilitate dissemination, through role as technical experts.
If the field of dissemination is to move forward, dissemination approaches must undergo formal testing. EF, an evidence-based practice, is a low-cost, highly adaptable, group exercise program for older adults. Services licenses EF to senior centers and other user organizations, which pay a licensing fee, and uses the revenue from licensing to aid implementation by these user organizations. ACS WPS offers employers a package of evidence-based practices aimed at promoting health in the workplace and preventing chronic diseases among workers.
After a formal assessment of the employers’ implementation of evidence-based workplace health promotion practices, ACS staff conduct a gap analysis and present employers with information and technical assistance aimed at increasing adoption and implementation of recommended practices. The HPRC framework for dissemination and dissemination research builds on the literature and has been shaped by our successful experience in developing and disseminating chronic disease prevention practices. The HPRC framework incorporates elements from the Greenhalgh framework and parallels key elements of the Wandersman (ISF) framework; each of these frameworks is based on a review of a large body of literature.
Kreuter and Bernhardt (19) highlight an additional need for effective dissemination of public health products — marketing and distribution systems. In the HPRC framework, researchers and disseminators form a partnership to enhance their ability to spread evidence-based practices.
To maximize real-world applicability of dissemination approaches, researchers should test them in collaboration with disseminators. We have proposed a practical framework for designing and testing dissemination approaches for evidence-based practices. Research supporting the information in this article was sponsored by the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center, one of the CDC Prevention Research Centers (HPRC cooperative agreement no.
Introduction to the special section on dissemination: dissemination research and research dissemination: how can we close the gap?
Bridging the gap between prevention research and practice: the interactive systems framework for dissemination and implementation. Fostering implementation of health services research findings into practice: a consolidated framework for advancing implementation science. Evaluating the public health impact of health promotion interventions: the RE-AIM framework. A randomized, controlled trial of a group intervention to reduce fear of falling and associated activity restriction in older adults.
Results of the first year of Active for Life: translation of 2 evidence-based physical activity programs for older adults into community settings. Implementation and effectiveness of a community-based health promotion program for older adults. The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Cognitive DissonanceCognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. According to Festinger, we hold many cognitions about the world and ourselves; when they clash, a discrepancy is evoked, resulting in a state of tension known as cognitive dissonance. A second (cognitive) method of reducing dissonance is to acquire new information that outweighs the dissonant beliefs. Notice that dissonance theory does not state that these modes of dissonance reduction will actually work, only that individuals who are in a state of cognitive dissonance will take steps to reduce the extent of their dissonance.
The theory of cognitive dissonance has been widely researched in a number of situations to develop the basic idea in more detail, and various factors that have been identified which may be important in attitude change.
Forced Compliance BehaviorWhen someone is forced to do (publicly) something they (privately) really don't want to do, dissonance is created between their cognition (I didn't want to do this) and their behavior (I did it). Results When the participants were asked to evaluate the experiment, the participants who were paid only $1 rated the tedious task as more fun and enjoyable than the participants who were paid $20 to lie.Conclusion Being paid only $1 is not sufficient incentive for lying and so those who were paid $1 experienced dissonance.
People have several ways to reduce dissonance that is aroused by making a decision (Festinger, 1964). Brehm (1956) was the first to investigate the relationship between dissonance and decision-making. Participants in the high-dissonance condition spread apart the alternatives significantly more than did the participants in the other two conditions. It also seems to be the case that we value most highly those goals or items which have required considerable effort to achieve. In the 'severe embarrassment' condition, they had to read aloud obscene words and a very explicit sexual passage. Results Participants in the 'severe embarrassment' condition gave the most positive rating.
Conclusion If a voluntary experience which has cost a lot of effort turns out badly, dissonance is reduced by redefining the experience as interesting. Critical EvaluationThere has been a great deal of research into cognitive dissonance, providing some interesting and sometimes unexpected findings. Kate Michaels has asked me to write a reference for her in support of her internship application and I am delighted to do so.
Professor Donaldson if you need any additional information about Kate Michaels please contact me by phone or email. I know the problem was the instructions and not the burrito because I gave it a second try. The new four story condominium development on Bank Street features homes with state of the art appliances and the latest in furnishings. Buyers and their agents should stop by the sales office on Bank Street or request a copy of the four color brochure to learn more about this very special property.
The question before the Supreme Court involves states rights, and governors around the country will be watching. Final Event: Race to the Finish As quickly as you can, add hyphens, apostrophes, commas, and semicolons to the passage below. College professors encourage their students extensive vocabulary and 50 word compound complex sentences. Much college writing includes perfectly structured paragraphs with an introduction three or more supporting sentences and a conclusion. Did you insert two semicolons, five to seven commas (depending on whether you use the serial comma), three apostrophes, and five hyphens? Many middle-aged (not middle-age) people plan to work beyond the age of 65 (not age 65). Our system administrators have identified an issue with one of our mail arrays related to a hardware failure of one storage member in the SAN. A creative yet pragmatic communicator with award-winning experience in narrative storytelling and news production. Extensive experience in film production, with works featured in regional, national, and international film festivals. Proficiency in handling sensitive matters and communicating diplomatically with people of differing views. Strong skills and experience in research and in communicating through letters, emails, op-eds, social media, and speeches. Supervised support staff of 14, including legal secretaries, paralegals, and general office support. Consistently maintained Number 1 or 2 ranking for order fulfillment in a team of 32 order pickers.
Created a system for finance managers that generated and emailed monthly financial reports and spreadsheets for on-time budget planning.
Review your older jobs and accomplishments to be sure the language still communicates well. For instance, if you are more than 10 years out of school, drop your college activities unless they communicate something unique and amazing. Imagine this situation: That job you held from 1993 to 1996 was once a significant part of your resume, worthy of five bullet points of accomplishments. Just as emptying your closet of old clothes helps you focus on and build a new wardrobe, eliminating old resume details helps you focus on and build a case for the newest phase of your career. Replace some of the text with concise bullet points if you have chunks of text that are longer than three lines.
Replace typefaces such as Times New Roman and Book Antiqua with a sans serif typeface like Trebuchet, and see if you like the difference. Experiment with incorporating a strong left alignment rather than centered headings, to communicate energy rather than formality.
College instructors sometimes ask me to recommend a text to use in their business writing classes.


I'm pleased to announce a complete new communications curriculum for college instructors.
One of my many favorite learning activities from the curriculum involves revising relationship-busting statements.
If you are a college instructor, you can find about more about the free curriculum and how to receive it. If you are not a college instructor but want to try your hand at revising the statement above, please do! If you are holding back, thinking Well, it depends, you are with The Gregg Reference Manual.
Good proofreaders catch errors that would embarrass, torment, and diminish us if those errors appeared in print or online. If you have made certain style decisions on your own—for instance, you use Canadian spelling because you have Canadian clients—let your proofreaders know that. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. To assist in developing these approaches, we created a practical framework drawn from the literature on dissemination and our experiences disseminating evidence-based practices.
In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have called for more attention to dissemination of evidence-based practices and for research on how to increase dissemination effectiveness (3-5). Particularly relevant for the dissemination of evidence-based health promotion practices are those of Greenhalgh et al (6) and Wandersman et al (7). The dissemination framework shows the resources (researchers and disseminating organizations) affecting a user organization through a dissemination approach developed collaboratively, using social marketing principles. The output of this cascade is change in organizational practices and personal behaviors that result in improved health and other benefits (eg, increased productivity) for either the members of the organization (eg, its workers) or the consumers it serves.
EnhanceFitness (EF) promotes physical activity among older adults, and American Cancer Society (ACS) Workplace Solutions (WPS) promotes the prevention of chronic disease among workers. Supported by the licensing fee, Senior Services offers instructor certification classes for EF at sites around the country, provides technical assistance,training, and marketing materials, and collects and analyzes program fidelity and fitness data.
ACS’s Great West Division and HPRC jointly developed ACS WPS and then conducted a pilot test with 8 large employers in the Pacific Northwest (17). Using linkages and learnings, HPRC and ACS are refining and adapting ACS WPS to meet the needs of employers, the principal user organizations.
As the 2 examples show, we have worked with private organizations as national disseminators, using theory-based dissemination approaches, and have achieved nationwide reach of evidence-based practices. Researchers, therefore, need to work closely with both disseminators and user organizations in designing dissemination approaches (Figure). And our process of researchers working with the disseminators and user organizations to refine the practice and dissemination strategy is a close approximation of the ISF Prevention Synthesis and Translation System. For commercial products, these systems include transfer to distributors, distribution to consumer outlets, inventory management, sales, technical assistance, customer service, and repair. Although some nonprofit health agencies serving as disseminators have marketing and distribution systems at a national scale (eg, AARP, ACS, and the YMCA), most do not and may need to work with commercial partners to reach the scale needed to make a difference at a population level. The contribution of researchers to the partnership includes 7 practical roles (Box 2): 1) sorting through the evidence, 2) conducting formative research, 3) assessing readiness of user organizations, 4) balancing fidelity and reinvention, 5) monitoring and evaluating, 6) influencing the outer context, and 7) testing dissemination approaches. When testing dissemination approaches, researchers and disseminators should be thoughtful about which dissemination approaches are being compared. The framework outlines complementary roles for researchers, disseminators, and user organizations in disseminating evidence-based practices broadly. An organizing framework for translation in public health: the Knowledge to Action Framework. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. This produces a feeling of discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance etc. An important factor here is the principle of cognitive consistency, the focus of Festinger's (1957) theory of cognitive dissonance. As the experience of dissonance is unpleasant, we are motivated to reduce or eliminate it, and achieve consonance (i.e. When there is an inconsistency between attitudes or behaviors (dissonance), something must change to eliminate the dissonance. One of the points that dissonance theorists are fond of making is that people will go to all sorts of lengths to reduce dissonance. Forced compliance occurs when an individual performs an action that is inconsistent with his or her beliefs. They could only overcome that dissonance by coming to believe that the tasks really were interesting and enjoyable. For example, suppose you had to decide whether to accept a job in an absolutely beautiful area of the country, or turn down the job so you could be near your friends and family. Female participants were informed they would be helping out in a study funded by several manufacturers.
Because these participants did not make a decision, they did not have any dissonance to reduce.
Participants in the high-dissonance condition chose between a highly desirable product and one rated just 1 point lower on the 8-point scale.
In other words, they were more likely than participants in the other two conditions to increase the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and to decrease the attractiveness of the unchosen alternative.
This is probably because dissonance would be caused if we spent a great effort to achieve something and then evaluated it negatively. It is a theory with very broad applications, showing that we aim for a consistency between attitudes and behaviors, and may not use very rational methods to achieve it. Kate worked with me from January, 2014 through August, 2015 as a teaching assistant in our marketing program, I was her direct supervisor. She used creative approaches to help students' understand complex concepts in marketing statistics. Perhaps my carelessly following rather than interpreting the instructions wrecked the meal?
Buyers looking for beautifully appointed two and three bedroom contemporary homes with open floor plans will want to visit this high end development. Whether they live in New York, New York or Cairo, Egypt, people like to feel included and informed.
Professors and teachers admire academic writing however readers needs on the job are different.
Although business writing contains elegantly structured chunks of text it also features one sentence paragraphs. If not, you are just in time for our final online punctuation class, Punctuation for Professionals, on May 19 and 26. Proven ability in written and visual communication, with particular expertise in social media. Eliminate early jobs such as working in a frozen yogurt shop (unless you are applying for a fast-food management position) and acting as a camp counselor (unless you are still in the counseling field).
For example, the SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS shown in Tip 1 above includes this list, which might include links to online samples (indicated by underlining): letters, emails, op-eds, social media, and speeches.
Your resume should make you feel pleased, proud, and confident as you move into your future.
Both instructors and students can benefit from the tips on completing the assignment--tips about the purpose of the message, its audience, the communication strategy, and content. Students first recognize why the instructor statements below are relationship busters. Don’t be the person about whom the proofreader says, “He insists it be this way despite what the dictionary and style manuals say.” And if you don’t understand a change your proofreader has made, ask questions to understand the correction rather than automatically reject it. Make proofreading a priority.Proofreading is as essential as planning, writing, formatting, editing, and printing.
Greenhalgh, focusing on system-level practices in large health care organizations, reviewed the literature on dissemination and diffusion and developed a conceptual framework to organize it.
The larger dissemination approach arrow shows that diffusion alone is often not an effective way of spreading evidence-based practices and that specific efforts are required to encourage widespread implementation. In its original trial, EF increased physical activity among participants and helped them to maintain a higher level of functioning than that of the comparison population (15).
The pilot test showed a significant increase in these employers’ implementation of the ACS WPS practices.
HPRC and ACS work with a range of employers, including small and mid-sized employers and those in low-wage industries. Greenhalgh (6) suggests that the greatest knowledge gains will come from comparing incremental changes in a proven dissemination approach to test the effect of the changes. We have used the framework to disseminate evidence-based promotions for older adult physical activity and workplace health programs nationally. Additional funding support came from the CDC Office of Public Health Research through its Centers of Excellence in Health Marketing and Health Communication program (grant 5-P01-CD000249-03). For example, when people smoke (behavior) and they know that smoking causes cancer (cognition).Festinger's (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance). This theory starts from the idea that we seek consistency in our beliefs and attitudes in any situation where two cognitions are inconsistent.
When one of the dissonant elements is a behavior, the individual can change or eliminate the behavior. However, new information such as a€?research has not proved definitely that smoking causes lung cancera€? may reduce the dissonance. A person could convince themself that it is better to "live for today" than to "save for tomorrow." In other words, he could tell himself that a short life filled with smoking and sensual pleasures is better than a long life devoid of such joys.
The behavior can't be changed, since it was already in the past, so dissonance will need to be reduced by re-evaluating their attitude to what they have done. As noted earlier, this is often very difficult, so people frequently employ a variety of mental maneuvers. Participants were also told that they would receive one of the products at the end of the experiment to compensate for their time and effort. After reading the reports about the various products, individuals rated the products again. We could, of course, spend years of effort into achieving something which turns out to be a load of rubbish and then, in order to avoid the dissonance that produces, try to convince ourselves that we didn't really spend years of effort, or that the effort was really quite enjoyable, or that it wasn't really a lot of effort. Roadmap is a strategic plan drawing on Gandhian principles for long-term nonviolent transformation with the potential to unite all of our various projects and passions without sacrificing their individuality.
Carefully remove from oven, peel off plastic film and allow to sit for 1 minute before serving. In reply, they sent me a coupon for a free frozen entree, and I bought the same burrito.
When new things come to light in your job search or profession, share them with your network.
Business writers will use a one sentence paragraph when they want a statement to stand out. Apply these tips to make your resume fresh and representative of who you are today, with an eye to tomorrow.
Assignments cover explanations, requests, bad-news messages, inquiries, solicitations, messages saying no, complaint resolutions, a range of job-search messages, and other pieces. Instructors can never be sure where students may go wrong with a writing assignment that requires them to imagine themselves communicating on the job. The course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, developed out of my long-standing interest in diplomatic, relationship-building messages at work.
Proofreading is finding and correcting errors and inconsistencies in documents that are virtual final drafts.
Know that occasionally something will slip by even after several editors and proofreaders have reviewed a document. Wandersman focused more directly on health promotion practices that might be implemented in both small and large organizations; his interactive systems framework (ISF) highlights the roles of key actors in the dissemination process. As its dissemination approach, ACS deploys local and regional staff who act as change agents (external technical experts working inside a user organization) (2).


Leon Festinger (1957) proposed cognitive dissonance theory, which states that a powerful motive to maintain cognitive consistency can give rise to irrational and sometimes maladaptive behavior.
However, this mode of dissonance reduction frequently presents problems for people, as it is often difficult for people to change well-learned behavioral responses (e.g. In this way, he would be decreasing the importance of the dissonant cognition (smoking is bad for ones health).
This prediction has been tested experimentally: In an intriguing experiment, Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) asked participants to perform a series of dull tasks (such as turning pegs in a peg board for an hour). If you took the job you would miss your loved ones; if you turned the job down, you would pine for the beautiful streams, mountains, and valleys. A common way to reduce dissonance is to increase the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and to decrease the attractiveness of the rejected alternative. The women then rated the desirability of eight household products that ranged in price from $15 to $30. In fact, though, it seems we find it easier to persuade ourselves that what we have achieved is worthwhile and that's what most of us do, evaluating highly something whose achievement has cost us dear - whether other people think it's much cop or not! They were asked to rate how interesting they had found the discussion, and how interesting they had found the people involved in it. She took initiative to enhance online outreach to students, showed evidence of a keen understanding of both short term results and long term benefits of various marketing strategies, and consistently delivered professional, high-quality work.
My friend Sarah began a job search on September 1, 2007 and ended it three months later, nevertheless, she still networks.
Another recently developed framework that synthesizes several existing frameworks (including that of Greenhalgh) is the consolidated framework for implementation research (CFIR) (8).
The products included an automatic coffee maker, an electric sandwich grill, an automatic toaster, and a portable radio. However, there is a problem from a scientific point of view, because we cannot physically observe cognitive dissonance, and therefore we cannot objectively measure it (re: behaviorism). Avoid calling, pinging, emailing, or standing over your proofreaders while they work—and dissuade others from interrupting them. Because I cringe when I see the phrase “thanks-you notes” in my book Business Writing With Heart, knowing that two proofreaders (including me) carefully reviewed it.
They were then paid either $1 or $20 to tell a waiting participant (relay a confederate) that the tasks were really interesting. The rub is that making a decision cuts off the possibility that you can enjoy the advantages of the unchosen alternative, yet it assures you that you must accept the disadvantages of the chosen alternative.
Before you give a piece to a proofreader for a final review, make sure it has already gone through its rounds of revisions, if necessary. What have we learned?Why Course-Level Assessment Is Important to Kaplan UniversityIt is true that assessment is important to all accredited postsecondary institutions; we are required to assess student outcomes. They were then paid either $1 or $20 to tell a waiting participant (a confederate) that the tasks were really interesting.
After all, if you aren’t going to defer to their knowledge of grammar, punctuation, and usage, why use them at all? Like many for-profit, universities, we are a comparatively young and fast-growing institution. Almost all of the participants agreed to walk into the waiting room and persuade the confederate that the boring experiment would be fun.
Is it a perception (as 'cognitive' suggests), or a feeling, or a feeling about a perception? We began offering online programs in 2001, for example, with just 34 students and a few degree programs. Aronson's revision of the idea of dissonance as inconsistency between a person's self-concept and a cognition about their behavior makes it seem likely that dissonance is really nothing more than guilt.There are also individual differences in whether or not people act as this theory predicts. But over the past decade we have expanded, so that we now serve more than 58,000 students online and more than 7,000 students at 11 campuses in Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland, and Maine, as well as at several learning centers across the country. Given that growth trajectory, it became increasingly important to know that we were doing things right.We are also a student-focused institution that emphasizes flexible programs and market-relevant degrees. Many people seem able to cope with considerable dissonance and not experience the tensions the theory predicts.Finally, many of the studies supporting the theory of cognitive dissonance have low ecological validity. Students enter Kaplan University with an average of four NCES-identified risk factors and without a great deal of college preparation. For example, turning pegs (as in Festinger's experiment) is an artificial task that doesn’t happen in everyday life. Also, the majority of experiments used students as participants, which raise issues of a biased sample.
Once planning was complete, the second half of 2008 and all of 2009 were focused on creating learning goals and objectives and corresponding rubrics for each course. Consequently, in order to test the efficacy of the CLA system, we needed to distinguish changes to courses that were driven by or that utilized CLA results from those not directly involving CLA data.By late 2010, we had reached a significant milestone on the road toward improvements in teaching and learning. Therefore, every learning goal is assessed for every student, every term, in every section of every course.
We assign four to six discipline-and course-specific learning objectives to both graduate and undergraduate courses.
Additionally, for undergraduate courses we assign at least two general education literacies (GELs) that we want students to master. As a student progresses through a program, we expect to see an increase in the cognitive complexity of the learning outcomes. GELs differ from discipline-specific goals in that the same GELs appear in courses across a program, whereas disciplinary goals are specific to a single course. To move over a period of just three years to an institution-wide system of assessment required a substantial investment of human, capital, and technological resources.
While nearly all the assessments were based on assignments and exams that already existed in the courses, new grading rubrics had to be created to ensure that the CLA system produced measurements of specific learning objectives independent of aggregate grades. Throughout a course, students regularly submit work that is reviewed by faculty, who enter CLA data throughout the term via a component of the online gradebook used in all courses. When courses are changed or new courses and programs are implemented, CLAs are created up front as part of the process.The learning goals and rubrics that appear in the online gradebook come from a common data repositorya€”eCollege's Learning Outcome Manager (LOM)a€”that Kaplan, along with several other of eCollege's large clients, designed to be a single source of record for course- and program-level information.
The LOM provides a linkage between specific assignments, exams, or components of those assignments and exams and the stated learning objectives.
By linking those objectives, rubrics, and assessment data, we can compare student achievement on any specific objective across any number of instructors, sections, or terms with the confidence that the same assessment was used, addressing the same learning objective, graded with the same rubric. This level of consistency, supported by a common repository, is foundational to our institution-wide CLA system.Checks and BalancesTo ensure the fidelity of data collection and consistency in the student experience, we designed two university-wide system checkpoints. First, as part of the curriculum-development process, all learning goals and rubrics are reviewed by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness to ensure thateach goal describes only one primary area of knowledge,for each, specific behavior(s) can manifest the knowledge or skills that students should be able to demonstrate mastery of by the end of the course,the cognitive tasks demonstrate the appropriate level of complexity required for given levels of mastery, andthe rubrics comply with Kaplan guidelines.Second, all new courses or major course revisions, including modifications to learning goals, are subject to review by one or more governance committees, depending on the type of course change. Both the General Education Committee and the Faculty Curriculum Committee are charged with approving all major curricular changes within their jurisdiction, including reviewing all learning goals, their alignment with the course and program, and the viability of their successful assessment within the course.In addition to governance committee oversight, we developed and continually update training modules on the use of the rubrics and the CLA approach in general. This required training contains both a general orientation to the framework and detailed calibration exercises. Kaplan periodically surveys the faculty on content knowledge as well as general attitudes toward CLA and rubric use.
As a result, both assessment and assessment-driven decision-making are now established in the university's culture. As Kara VanDam, vice provost for academic affairs, relates, a€?We are deliberately focused on what students are actually learning, not simply what we assume we are teaching them.
This core belief in the importance of measurable student learning informs every conversation we have and every curricular improvement we undertake.a€?In January 2011, we conducted a survey to gauge the faculty's understanding and use of the CLA tools and system. The survey, sent to 1,640 randomly sampled faculty from a total of 4,923 across the university, had a 48 percent completion rate. Among these respondents, 95 percent claimed to have had experience with applying the CLA rubrics and entering CLA scores.Nearly half reported that they assign learning activities that address specific course outcomes always or most of the time and that this awareness of the CLA system affects their lesson planning. Yet a clear majority also reported that the CLA system does not divert attention from the required courseworka€”in other words, faculty do not distort classroom work to a€?teach to the test.a€?We have made CLA-related data part of Kaplan University's normal operations, and we ensure that all data reporting remains focused on actionable information. Our Office of Institutional Effectiveness is responsible for regularly publishing reports that aid particular stakeholders.
For example, a report showing the impact of a curriculum change within a course was designed specifically for the curriculum team (Chart 3). This type of report includes parametric statistical tests on pre- and post-change data so that users can quickly ascertain the effect size of any changes.CLA scores reveal student performance and inform administrative conversations on curricular design. In 2010, we initiated a study of 221 courses that had been revised since the inception of the CLA system, using post-revision data.
Given the variations in student cohorts and other influences, it would not have been realistic to expect that every curricular modification would result in significantly better student outcomes, although that is the overall goal. Indeed, for some subsequent groups, we might see no evidence of improvement, or even regression in some cases.We looked for two types of improvement evidence. First, a comparison of student outcomes between pre- and post-modification of the courses should show that the average levels of learning are higher post-revision at statistically significant levels. The second form of improvement was defined by a reduction in the rate at which students fail a given course. Kaplan tracks this definition through a a€?U ratea€?a€”the a€?Ua€? representing unsuccessful performance. A course-level U rate includes all students who fail to earn course credit for whatever reason, including an inability to achieve passing grades or dropping out.The dual definition of improvement was created to reward changes that encouraged students to persist who might otherwise have failed to successfully complete assessments or withdrawn from the course.
An example is IT117, an undergraduate course in website design required for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and the Associate of Applied Science of Information Technology.
Based on a review of CLA data, along with other academic metricsa€”grade distributions, end-of-term student satisfaction surveys, and faculty surveysa€”the curriculum team and faculty discussed the need to revise the course.
In the mastery-learning change scenario, students were allowed to redo and resubmit their work for re-grading provided they had submitted the original assignment on time and it was determined to be in reasonable form by the instructor. The guided online tutorials provided structured training in several target skills for the course. The self-efficacy scales measured students' learning at a task-specific level both pre- and post-instruction.
While there are also external motivatorsa€”most notably accreditation and federal policy changesa€”the CLA was, and remains, an undertaking inspired by a focus on student learning.Availability of sufficient resources.
Human capital and technological resources were allocated to make implementation possibleChampions of the cause from across the university. Executives championed the undertaking, academic leadership was empowered to drive change, faculty engaged in the project, and institutional-research and faculty-development staff provided support.Transparency of the undertaking. From regular meetings to updates on the employee intranet, everyone knew what was going on, why the change was happening, and what their role would be.Plan for data usage.
How the data would be used was an integral part of the project, not an afterthought once work began.Incorporation of the CLA into the culture of the university. It is incorporated into our day-to-day tasks, academic projects, and strategic planning.The need for sufficient resources to do this work cannot be overstated. But the substantial investment of human, capital, and technological resources to create an institution-wide system of assessment was a strategic decision, made with both academic and business outcomes in mind. We hope that this level of learning assessment will pay off, not just in terms of immediate gains in student learning but also through a recognition of the quality of our programs that will attract new cohorts of students, faculty who engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning, and new academic partners.The successes to date from the CLA approach and structure have not come without some changes, lessons learned along the way, and adjustments based on feedback. These include:Acknowledgment of concerns from stakeholders regarding their existing paradigms for instruction. We had to ensure safe havens for discussion of differing views on teaching as a science or an art, on the balance between a centralized curriculum versus individual teaching styles, and so forth.Balance of responsibilities. Different people provided institutional oversight, curriculum expertise, and a knowledge of assessment best practices, while faculty autonomy was respected even while we aimed to reach a common goal.Appropriate granularity of analysis. Discipline was required to focus on what information we need to gather and will use, rather than collecting more and more information because we can.Potential for spurious results. At the same time, the benefits to students, faculty, and the institution are clear, and we look forward to all that we will learn in the coming years.Resources1. Comparing Three Learning Outcomes Assessments How Effective are the NSSE Benchmarks in Predicting Important Educational Outcomes?



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