The Faculty Experience in Direct Assessment Offerings

Overview

This study examines the faculty experience of working in competency-based education offered through direct assessment (CBE-DA). CBE-DA is a strong departure from traditional higher education’s reliance on the credit hour system and drastically changes traditional faculty roles. Without traditional teaching roles, faculty working in direct assessment offerings have had to adapt to new expectations, change the scope of their work and the practices and tools they use to do their work, and have likely experienced different reward systems. Given that faculty provide critical direct services to students, have the potential to add the most value to direct assessment offerings and their students, and are the number one labor cost in higher education, it is important for higher education leaders who design CBE-DA to understand how faculty experience and make sense of their roles in direct assessment offerings. However, as the research literature grows on faculty involvement in CBE-DA, little is known regarding how faculty experience and make sense of their new roles working in competency-based education offered through direct assessment. This study intends to fill this identified gap in the published body of knowledge.

Key research questions include:

  • How do faculty working in direct assessment offerings describe their experiences?
  • How do faculty make meaning of their roles in direct assessment offerings?

Approach

The data collection method will be person-to-person interviews with higher education faculty who currently perform their work in competency-based education offered in a federal Department of Education approved direct assessment offering with at least six months of experience.

 

Researchers

Kim Pearce, Northwestern Health Sciences University