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Assessing Students Through Evaluations

We all know that assessment is a vital component of any educational program. And, as educators, we like to assess, well… everything. When it comes to assessment of our students, most educators quickly turn to the tried and true multiple choice question. When written well, multiple choice exams and quizzes do an excellent job of providing an accurate picture of what students know and the areas in which they might be struggling. But what about the qualities of our students that aren’t easily captured by asking multiple choice questions? In health sciences education, these might be certain clinical skills, or professional skills we want to see our students utilize in clinical encounters. Certain competencies and entrustable professional activities (EPAs) can be difficult to assess accurately through multiple choice questions, they have to be seen and observed. This is when course and clinical faculty should consider the use of objectively created evaluations. 

Objective assessment built right in

A well-designed evaluation should provide an objective way to assess students. Either the student did, or did not, exhibit a certain behavior or perform a certain action. Of course, there will always be gray areas. Why do you think so many Likert scale questions include “neutral” as an option? Leo, the award-winning healthcare education platform, can help to make the process of building, assigning, and completing objective student evaluations much easier.

Many “survey and assessment” tools allow the development of objective questions and answer choices, but not all integrate with your learning management system. With Leo, not only can you manage your courses, content, and curriculum mapping, but you can also use evaluations in Leo to assess your students and send scores right back to the student via the course Gradebook. And, once it’s approved, students have the ability to open up the evaluation in their Academic Portrait. They can quickly view the evaluation and any comments left by their evaluator. Feedback doesn’t get more timely than this!

If you really want to complete the learning loop, you could also assign students a self-evaluation - yes, that’s built into Leo too - so students could reflect on their performance after viewing the faculty feedback on their evaluation.

Easy & mobile friendly

Leo works hard to make sure completing evaluations is easy and efficient. Not only can Leo send the evaluation link via email, but it can also send reminders to faculty automatically based on their preferences. You can easily login to see which faculty have and haven’t completed evaluations - and send yet another reminder if needed! Faculty can complete evaluations right on their mobile device or at their desktop, it’s up to them!

Evals of all types

So what kind of evaluations can faculty complete in Leo? With targeted student evaluations, Leo makes it simple to assign any faculty member to evaluate any number of students. Leo can also use built-in logic from the central calendar interface to create evaluations based on any number of events and assigned faculty. If you want your small group facilitators to evaluate their set of students, then evaluations in Leo can be a true time-saver!

We know that faculty feedback on the curriculum can be a huge asset, so Leo makes it easy to assign course and event evaluations to faculty members as well. Consider having course faculty complete evaluations similar to those completed by students. The expertise of faculty regarding course content, organization, pedagogy, and assessments can be a huge asset as course directors prepare for the next iteration of their course. Assigning event evaluations to faculty members can even allow faculty to share ideas to have an immediate impact on the delivery of the course curriculum!

John Dewey, the heralded philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer of the early twentieth century summed it up best: “We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience.”

Students aren’t the only ones learning via self-reflection at our institutions. Faculty are constantly experimenting with and implementing innovative new ways of teaching and learning. Leo's self-evaluations give faculty a structured tool to allow them to think critically about their teaching.

View completed evals in the user profile

Faculty can view all the evaluations that they’ve completed as well as evaluations of them by their students. Being able to access all of their evaluations, along with the strong reporting capabilities within Leo can allow faculty and administrators to see trends in student learning and make data-driven decisions. For example, you might want to know how the recent curriculum revision has affected student performance on your objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs). With evaluations in Leo, that answer is right at your fingertips!

As curriculum models continue to evolve in higher education and more emphasis is placed on competencies rather than discrete knowledge of course material, the ability to objectively evaluate your students will become increasingly important. Leo's Evaluations provide the tools needed to transition to assessing your students’ ability to perform and not just their knowledge of textbook material.