Aligning Outcomes, Assignments, and Assessment in Designing an Effective Online Program

Sunday, 8 November 2015: 4:00 PM

Melissa Ann Popovich, DNP, MSN, BSN, RN, CNE
AmeriTech College, Draper, UT, USA

Higher education institutions are increasingly expected to link the academic pedagogies in a manner that facilitates the application of practice-level skills. In an effort to develop high-quality and effective online learning environments which prepare the student for immediate contributions in the workplace, this college developed a strategy for the development of a completely online program to ensure quality and increase learning in the courses and program. By using a logic model framework and methodology, program, course, and student learning outcomes, assignments, and assessment of learning can be easily organized to flow in a cascading manner. Through the use of this “curricular logic model”, nursing programs can have a platform that assists in evaluation, assessment, and revision of the curriculum in chart form.  This visual representation of the nursing curriculum provides the nursing faculty the opportunity to use creativity in design so that the various levels of outcomes are easily identified.  For example, color-coded program, course, and individual assignment outcomes make distinguishing them from one another more expedient.  This method also highlights how the outcomes flow from general to specific. The overall document can be designed to be as simple or complex as the user desires.  For example, a general logic model that only includes organizational, program and course outcomes could be developed, or a complex model could even include weekly learning outcomes for each particular course and, or, outcomes for specific assignments.

The logic model concept has the potential to: show the alignment of program  mission, vision, and goals with the organizational mission, vision, and goals, as well as professional standards and guidelines, connect important resource availability to particular courses or assignments, identify critical benchmarks, individual and aggregate outcomes for learning throughout the program (clinical courses, capstone course) and to highlight consistencies or inconsistencies in curricular design and outcome achievement.