How Blueprinting Exams Can Improve Learning Outcomes

October 26, 2016 Kristen Hicks

Sometimes it may seem like a bother, but when your job is focused on preparing students to work in the health sciences, you can’t just think about teaching your students. You have other priorities that must be given their due as well.

Two of the biggest concerns graduate health programs consistently have to keep in mind are:

Of course, these two things are generally linked. If lots of students fail their licensing exams, your program’s accreditation status will be threatened no matter how hard you work to achieve the other criteria evaluated by the accrediting board.

The goal of both licensing exams and accreditation is to make sure students graduate with the knowledge they need to do their jobs well, and the efforts you put toward satisfying those requirements shouldn’t get in the way of your most important job: teaching students.

It just might mean approaching your work a little differently.

How Exam Blueprinting Can Help

Exam blueprinting enables faculty to easily line up the exams they create with the subject areas and learning outcomes that are measured on licensure exams and prioritized by accreditors.

You can make sure the subject areas that need to be covered to prepare students for licensure exams are top of mind while creating the formative exams you provide during the semester. You’ll be able see immediately if there’s a topic that isn’t getting enough coverage in your assessments.

Since exams reflect what’s being covered in class, exam blueprinting will also help faculty figure out early in the semester if those topics aren’t getting enough coverage in the curriculum, so they can make some changes to the course in time to make sure students get the proper instruction.

Tagging your exams based on the learning outcomes the accrediting board requires also creates an easy way to compile assessment data that demonstrates your progress to the board when review time comes. If students have trouble grasping one of the concepts required, that same data gives professors a head’s up to help students understand it better before the end of the semester so they achieve the desired outcomes in plenty of time.

This proves beneficial for students and faculty, as well as being useful during the accrediting process and licensing exams.

Make Exam Blueprinting Easier

ExamSoft’s tagging options help faculty easily organize exam blueprinting so they can clearly see question distribution during exam creation. Once grading is complete, the exam software automatically produces the crucial data needed to track student progress in the moment and demonstrate it to the accrediting board during the review process.

You create the exams and do the tagging, but the technology streamlines the process and takes some of the work out of each step. Using ExamSoft for blueprinting assessment offers faculty an invaluable option for producing crucial data. To see the difference it makes more clearly, set up a demo.

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