The Society for Social Work and Research

2013 Annual Conference

January 16-20, 2013 I Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina I San Diego, CA

Reaccreditation Assessment and Measurement: Keeping It Empirical During Data-Driven Change

Sunday, January 20, 2013: 8:45 AM-10:30 AM
Marina 4 (Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina)
Cluster: Research on Social Work Education
Amy Russell, PhD, Texas State University-San Marcos
The School of Social Work at Texas State University-San Marcos, a growing BSW and MSW social work program in central Texas, completed the CSWE reaccreditation assessment, documentation, and site-visit presentation spring 2012. In a three year process, the School has made refinements to curriculum, designed a comprehensive assessment plan, transitioned to operationalized practice behaviors, and collected data on student outcomes through multiple measurements.  The presenter is the faculty member responsible for the assessment plan and measurement for both BSW and MSW programs, which at any given time may have up to 500 students on campus and online. The purpose of this workshop is to share practical information on assessment and measurement methodologies to increase the efficiency of reaccreditation, while considering the unique characteristics of workshop participant’s schools of social work.

Because reaccreditation is ultimately a research methodology, all stakeholders are both researchers and participants, with the ultimate goal of empowerment when assessing ideas and solutions in student learning (Greenwood & Levin, 2007; Stringer, 1999).  The workshop will guide participants in: 1) measurement techniques in adjusting to the changes in the 2008 EPAS, curriculum modifications, and transitioning from program outcomes to student competencies; 2) addressing challenges in measurement of student learning outcomes, assessment planning and design; and 3) techniques to meet a school’s unique needs in assessment planning and measurement design, including tools to best capture students’ learning outcomes.

As part of this knowledge sharing workshop, explicating this School’s assessment plan will reveal circular looping feedback models, continuous affirming and change processes, and streamlining data collection back into the cycle. This School’s multidimensional assessment plan ensured that practice behaviors were measured twice for comprehensive coverage in benchmark outcomes.  Design of timelines, curriculum location, and matrices for measurement will be presented, as well as how practice behaviors were operationalized.  Additionally, sampling, data points, and data use will be explained in how they affirm and change explicit and implicit curriculum when assessing predetermined benchmarks.  The presenter will share the logistics and design of multiple measurements, timing and intent of how data were collected, and qualitative and statistical data analysis techniques.  Focusing on measurement, issues of reliability and validity during data-driven change will be discussed and how to address such challenges in pretest and posttests, especially in field.  Write-up and division of tasks in final documentation preparation will be outlined, including how to present the ‘research-speak’ of outcome assessment to social workers, faculty, students, and community members who may not speak the language of research.  The presenter will share the outcomes of the final part of the reaffirmation process, in which one item was noted by the CSWE Commission in the BSW assessment. 

Resources and materials for assessment planning and development, including measurement tools, will be provided through an action research lens that empowers faculty, field, students, and community members through the transition to student competency measurement.  Participants will be able to use these measurement materials and assessment resources to assist them in their unique reaccreditation process through this information sharing workshop.

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