Assessment Processes for Online Professional Development

Assessment Processes for Online Professional Development

Lesley S. J. Farmer (California State University Long Beach, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5780-9.ch015
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Abstract

Professional development (PD) assessment is an ongoing, integral activity in order to improve results at individual, training, program, and institutional levels. Principles of assessment are outlined, and the general processes of assessment design, delivery, and analysis are explained. Technology greatly expands the possible data that can be collected for assessment purposes. Emphasis is placed on online environments, noting the issues that are unique to that environment.
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Introduction

Assessment serves as a core activity in professional development (PD) at individual, training, program, and institutional levels. The intent is participant, instructor, and program improvement. First, educational goals and objectives need to be identified; who makes those decisions? Locating or developing a valid and reliable assessment instrument (or set of tools) requires answering a number of questions: what is assessed, who is assessed, who does the assessing, when and how frequently is the assessment done, how is it done, how are the data analyzed, who analyzes the data, how are the findings acted upon, who acts upon them, what accountability is present? These decisions may be made and perhaps acted upon by the PD enterprise.

In an online environment, participants and instructors can interact more often, and preserve their thinking processes more easily. Work can be posted and shared quickly and efficiently. Conversations about PD topics can continue without few space and time constraints. As a result, assessment can be more effective.

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