Rich, J., Klinger, D., Fostaty Young, S., & Donnelly, C. (2020). How are professional programs from diverse disciplines approaching the development and assessment of competence at a mid-sized Canadian university? The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2020.2.8597
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14391
Time-honoured university policies, such as the credit-hour and academic freedom, present challenges for professional education programs tasked with operationalizing entry-to-practice competence frameworks for professional accreditation. A single embedded case study was used to explore how professional programs from one mid-sized Canadian university are approaching and perhaps problematizing the development and assessment of competence. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with educational leaders (faculty and staff, n=21) from a sample of nine programs. Following a grounded theory approach to qualitative analysis, the constant comparative method was used to inductively discern similarities and differences across programs, and to begin building theory about approaches to operationalization. While limited in scope given the use of a single university, our findings highlight: (a) diversity in approaches to operationalization across programs, (b) common attributes which can be used to classify the manner in which these programs operationalize competence, and (c) challenges with supporting faculty to buy in to competency-informed pedagogy and assessment. Given these findings, it is recommended that professional accrediting bodies and education programs spend time to consider the role university-based programs play in determining competence for entry-to-practice, as well their intents for implementing a competence framework, to ensure sufficiency in the approaches being used.
University of Western Ontario, Western Libraries
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