Implementing the SmarterMeasure Learning Readiness Indicator can be a great fit to an institution's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for multiple reasons. Check out this video and blog summary to learn how to add SmarterMeasure in your QEP, examples on how to best position it in your plan, and how SmarterMeasure can help your institution improve learner readiness.
*Links mentioned in the video can be found below in the blog summary below.*
What is a QEP?
If you are checking out this blog post, you likely know what a QEP is. But just in case you do not, QEP stands for a Quality Enhancement Plan. It is a requirement for reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools otherwise known as SACS. If your school has a different regional accrediting body, they too may require a project similar to the QEP discussed in this post.
Basically, a QEP, as the name implies, is a project through which the school identifies a part of their student experience which could be improved. Then the school articulates a plan and conducts a project to improve the quality of their program.
Elements of a QEP
SACS requires that a QEP be a key issue that was identified by institutional assessment and that the issue focuses on learning outcomes or learning environment. The institution must have the capability to conduct the project utilizing multiple departments or persons. Finally, a plan for assessing the effectiveness of the project must be articulated.
Implementing the SmarterMeasure Learning Readiness Indicator is a great fit into a QEP for the following reasons:
- Schools frequently identify the issue of learner readiness as a key issue that impacts learner performance and retention.
- The process of measuring and improving learner readiness is a project that improves the learning environment. Implementing the assessment is a “doable” project and can involve several departments such as eLearning, instructional design, new student orientation, advising, etc.
- Finally, the metrics we provide with SmarterMeasure are strong evidence of the efficacy of the assessment as a part of the project.
Inclusions of SmarterMeasure in a QEP
Over the past two decades, several institutions have utilized the SmarterMeasure Learning Readiness Indicator as an element in their QEP. A recent survey of schools that use SmarterMeasure found that 12% of responding institutions reported using SmarterMeasure in their QEP. As you can see in this graphic, other popular places where the assessment is positioned includes orientation courses, as an assignment in an academic course, in the admissions process, on the school’s website, and in a first-year experience program.
Some Schools that Used SmarterMeasure in Their QEP
Some of the schools that have integrated SmarterMeasure into their QEP include those whose logos appear below. These are only a few of the ones we are aware of as schools are not required to report back to us if they use SmarterMeasure in their QEP. Schools are at liberty to position and utilize the assessment as they consider best for their school and its students.
QEP Project Reports
However, some schools have made us aware of not only the fact that they have used SmarterMeasure in their QEP, but of the results of those projects. If you are considering utilizing SmarterMeasure in your QEP, you may find it useful to review some of these reports:
- Reynolds Community College
- Southern University of New Orleans
- Maryland Community College
- Valencia College
- Asheville Buncombe Technical College
- Tallahassee Community College
- Southeastern Technical College
- University of New England
- Walters State Community College
- Columbus Technical College
- University of North Georgia
- Del Mar College
Highlights of QEP Findings
To save you the time of reading all of these reports, here are some of the highlights of the findings.
Reynolds Community College
Reynolds Community College conducted a longitudinal study over six semesters and concluded that academic success was strongly correlated with Life Factors and Personal Attributes, was common among learners who were above target in five or more attributes, and among learners who exceeded the college-wide average for all online students.
Southern University of New Orleans
The Southern University of New Orleans focused not only on the readiness of students but of faculty and the institution as well. Increasing a student’s level of readiness was connected to their ability to learn better in an online learning environment.
Maryland Community College
Maryland Community College positioned SmarterMeasure in their distance learning orientation. They used the scores to determine which students needed further support to enroll in online courses.
Tallahassee Community College
Tallahassee Community College determined that many of their students could benefit from additional Technical Knowledge. These students were referred to the Learning Commons for additional computer training or skills refreshing.
Columbus Technical College
Columbus Technical College identified computer literacy as a critical need among its students.
They utilized SmarterMeasure for all entry-level students to gauge their level of computer literacy. Students scoring below a 60% were directed to a remedial course.
Valencia College recognized that on their own, students were not equipped to adequately be aware of their level of preparedness for online learning nor how to properly use a learning management system. SmarterMeasure was utilized as a tool to foster higher levels of learner awareness.
Asheville Buncombe Technical College
Asheville Buncombe Technical College proposed via their QEP that student success in online courses was linked to three scales measured by the assessment – technical knowledge, life factors, and personal attributes.
Del Mar College
Del Mar College also used their QEP to determine that learners who were on academic suspension should take SmarterMeasure to help them identify their non-cognitive attributes that could be impacting their struggle. Advisors were required to have a conversation with these at-risk students about their assessment scores.
The University of New England
The QEP of the University of New England was referenced in the dissertation of Dr. Kelly White. SmarterMeasure was positioned within an online orientation course. While she did not find that participation in the course had a statistically significant relationship with grades nor completion rates, she did determine multiple positive aspects of learner participation in an online orientation. She recommended that SmarterMeasure scores should be used to determine which students should be required to participate in the online orientation.
Let Us Help You Plan Your QEP!
I trust that this overview of the variety of ways that other schools have utilized the SmarterMeasure Learning Readiness Indicator into their Quality Enhancement Plan has given you some ideas of projects that could be applicable at your institution.
As you are crafting the QEP at your institution, please consider me a resource. Not only have I worked with dozens of schools that have used SmarterMeasure in their QEP, but across my academic career, I have served as a Dean at two different institutions during which time I survived an initial SACS accreditation process and two reaffirmation visits. I would enjoy having a conversation with you about your QEP. Please let me know how I can help by clicking here to send me an email.
To learn more about SmarterMeasure, click here to visit our website.