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Feb 11, 2013

MC Assessment Team Showcases Efforts at NERA Conference

The Madison Collaborative assessment team and graduate students involved in assessment presented a symposium titled "Assessing Ethical Reasoning in Higher Education: An Example" at the annual conference of the Northeastern Educational Research Association (NERA) in Rocky Hill, CT, October 22-25, 2013.

Dr. Keston Fulcher, Associate Director of the Center for Assessment and Research Studies and assessment liaison for the Madison Collaborative (MC) provided an overview of the inception of the MC, its student learning outcomes, the eight-key-question (8KQ) framework, currently implemented and planned interventions, as well as the variety of instruments developed over the past year and a half to assess ethical reasoning at JMU.

Kristen Smith presents at the NERA conferenceAssessment and measurement doctoral student Bo Bashkov presented a study assessing the dimensionality of one of the MC’s pilot instruments, the multiple-choice Test of Ethical Reasoning, demonstrating the use of exploratory factor analysis with dichotomously scored data. Bo has been involved with the MC as a task-force member of the Quality Enhancement Plan committee for a year and continues to serve as a data analyst and assessment consultant for the MC this year.

Kristen Smith, a quantitative psychology graduate student, presented the continuous process of instrument development and revision of the Test of Ethical Reasoning pilot forms to create the current multiple-choice Ethical Reasoning Identification Test. Kristen has been involved in assessment research projects with the MC for about a year.

Finally, Oksana Naumenko, a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro, presented an overview of generalizability theory applied in the context of the MC’s performance assessment prompt and rubric designed to measure the application of ethical reasoning and the 8KQs in students own lives. Oksana was involved in the MC’s performance assessment activities last summer, after finishing her master’s in quantitative psychology at JMU. The symposium was well-received, and the audience engaged in a thoughtful discussion of the importance of implementing and assessing a project like the MC to enhance students’ life and career skills not only at JMU but across the nation.