Event Title

Development and Implementation of a Core Values Portfolio to Assess Student-Learning Outcomes

Location

Resnick

Format

Podium Presentation

Start Date

15-1-2011 10:20 AM

End Date

15-1-2011 10:50 AM

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) identifies seven core values important to the profession of physical therapy: Accountability, altruism, compassion/caring, excellence, integrity, professional duty, and social responsibility. One of the student learning outcomes of our entry level Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) program was that students would demonstrate self reflection and growth in these seven areas. Although the APTA developed a self-assessment instrument to self assess skills in the seven areas, this tool asks individuals to rate how often they engage in specific behaviors. The problem underlying this project was that the Outcomes Committee wanted to investigate how students changed in these seven core values over time during the three-year D.P.T. curriculum. In addition, we were interested in learning what type of educational experiences influenced value development.

PURPOSE: To develop an authentic assessment process related to the seven core values described by the APTA.

METHODOLOGY: The Outcomes Committee chair, in conjunction with the faculty and program director, developed a Values and Documentation Portfolio requirement in 2009. The following decisions were made: “The portfolio would be required for graduation but would not be graded. The portfolio would be submitted in the summer of year three, immediately preceding nine months of clinical rotations. The values section of the portfolio would require students to self-assess in each of the seven core value areas. Students would include both self reflection and artifacts (evidence) to support each value category, emphasizing change over time and personal growth.” Faculty would review the portfolios in order to assess whether the outcomes were being met and also to determine what experiences facilitated growth and change in these areas. The first class to complete the portfolio was the 2010 graduating cohort.

RESULTS: Based on the assessment of a sample of Values portfolios, NSU students demonstrate growth in all of the seven areas over the course of the three-year curriculum. The areas with the most growth included accountability, altruism, caring/compassion, and social responsibility. Students had more difficulty showing evidence in the areas of excellence, integrity, and professional duty. Activities identified by the students as enhancing these values included: a) service learning experiences; b) clinical education experiences; c) the program requirement to attend local and national APTA functions; and d) opportunities to teach other students. Excerpts of student submissions will be provided in the presentation.

CONCLUSIONS: The American Association of Higher Education advocated that one of the 9 principles of good practice in assessing student learning is to pay attention to not only student outcomes but also the experiences that lead to those outcomes. The analysis of the Value Portfolios in the entry level DPT Program demonstrated that experiences OUTSIDE the classroom such as service learning activities and attendance to APTA meetings were those that enhanced the development of values across the curriculum. Furthermore, the portfolio itself appeared to enhance reflective skills of the entry level students. In the future, the DPT Program will analyze how core values change between the first and third years of the program. The area of values development in entry level professional education needs additional attention and research, including: a) whether feedback on the values portfolio would enhance value development; b) if discussion with faculty prior to submission can enhance value development.

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Jan 15th, 10:20 AM Jan 15th, 10:50 AM

Development and Implementation of a Core Values Portfolio to Assess Student-Learning Outcomes

Resnick

INTRODUCTION: The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) identifies seven core values important to the profession of physical therapy: Accountability, altruism, compassion/caring, excellence, integrity, professional duty, and social responsibility. One of the student learning outcomes of our entry level Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) program was that students would demonstrate self reflection and growth in these seven areas. Although the APTA developed a self-assessment instrument to self assess skills in the seven areas, this tool asks individuals to rate how often they engage in specific behaviors. The problem underlying this project was that the Outcomes Committee wanted to investigate how students changed in these seven core values over time during the three-year D.P.T. curriculum. In addition, we were interested in learning what type of educational experiences influenced value development.

PURPOSE: To develop an authentic assessment process related to the seven core values described by the APTA.

METHODOLOGY: The Outcomes Committee chair, in conjunction with the faculty and program director, developed a Values and Documentation Portfolio requirement in 2009. The following decisions were made: “The portfolio would be required for graduation but would not be graded. The portfolio would be submitted in the summer of year three, immediately preceding nine months of clinical rotations. The values section of the portfolio would require students to self-assess in each of the seven core value areas. Students would include both self reflection and artifacts (evidence) to support each value category, emphasizing change over time and personal growth.” Faculty would review the portfolios in order to assess whether the outcomes were being met and also to determine what experiences facilitated growth and change in these areas. The first class to complete the portfolio was the 2010 graduating cohort.

RESULTS: Based on the assessment of a sample of Values portfolios, NSU students demonstrate growth in all of the seven areas over the course of the three-year curriculum. The areas with the most growth included accountability, altruism, caring/compassion, and social responsibility. Students had more difficulty showing evidence in the areas of excellence, integrity, and professional duty. Activities identified by the students as enhancing these values included: a) service learning experiences; b) clinical education experiences; c) the program requirement to attend local and national APTA functions; and d) opportunities to teach other students. Excerpts of student submissions will be provided in the presentation.

CONCLUSIONS: The American Association of Higher Education advocated that one of the 9 principles of good practice in assessing student learning is to pay attention to not only student outcomes but also the experiences that lead to those outcomes. The analysis of the Value Portfolios in the entry level DPT Program demonstrated that experiences OUTSIDE the classroom such as service learning activities and attendance to APTA meetings were those that enhanced the development of values across the curriculum. Furthermore, the portfolio itself appeared to enhance reflective skills of the entry level students. In the future, the DPT Program will analyze how core values change between the first and third years of the program. The area of values development in entry level professional education needs additional attention and research, including: a) whether feedback on the values portfolio would enhance value development; b) if discussion with faculty prior to submission can enhance value development.