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Using technology to automate syllabus construction for programmatic, curricular, faculty and experiential assessment activities

Maryann Wu (School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Dabrick A. Brill (School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Mrunmayee Prakash Shirodkar (School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Jianxuan Tan (School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Mukesh Poptani (School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Ying Wang (School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Ian S. Haworth (School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 30 November 2021

Issue publication date: 17 January 2022

154

Abstract

Purpose

With a growing need to assess multiple aspects of healthcare education, the goal of this study was to develop an innovative web-based application to streamline assessment processes and meet the increasingly complex role of the educational manager.

Design/methodology/approach

AARDVARC (Automated Approach to Reviewing and Developing Valuable Assessment Resources for your Curriculum) was created with the core function of standardizing course syllabi through the use of a web-based portal and the ability to query fields within the portal to collect multiple points of data. AARDVARC permits quick and efficient gathering of programmatic, curricular, faculty, teaching, preceptor and financial data to facilitate meaningful change and a shared responsibility of assessment. This software has allowed automatic completion of complex analytics each semester, including coverage of program outcomes, course learning objectives, teaching and assessment methods, course readings, topics covered in the curriculum, faculty teaching hours, experiential activities, coverage of disease states and scheduling of peer observation of teaching.

Findings

Three years after its initial launch, AARDVARC is now used by 520 faculty, 60 staff, 44 preceptors and over 2,000 students across multiple health profession and science programs. Data analytics through AARDVARC have allowed the School to reimagine how assessment can be conducted and have provided a pathway for making evidence-based programmatic and curricular changes.

Originality/value

This original software has provided an innovative approach to conduct assessment that combines best practices in curriculum, assessment, data analytics and educational technology while improving the overall quality, speed, and efficiency of academic and business operations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the USC School of Pharmacy for providing the necessary financial, human and technological resources to support our software innovation and implementation.

Citation

Wu, M., Brill, D.A., Shirodkar, M.P., Tan, J., Poptani, M., Wang, Y. and Haworth, I.S. (2022), "Using technology to automate syllabus construction for programmatic, curricular, faculty and experiential assessment activities", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 49-62. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-10-2020-0494

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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