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Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of Graduate Psychology
Keston H. Fulcher
Sara J. Finney
Examples of demonstrable student learning improvement in higher education are rare (Banta, Jones, & Black, 2009; Banta & Blaich, 2011). Perhaps because outcomes assessment practices are disconnected from pedagogy, curriculum, and learning improvement. Through partnership with the Madison Collaborative, the current study aimed to bridge this disconnect. Specifically, researchers applied implementation fidelity methodologies (O’Donnell, 2008) to an academic program, under the guiding framework of the Simple Model for Learning Improvement (Fulcher, Good, Coleman, & Smith, 2014). In doing so, researchers helped faculty create and elucidate an ethical reasoning educational intervention and accompanying fidelity checklist. Both were well-aligned with a University-level ethical reasoning performance assessment tool, the ER-WR. Implementation fidelity methodologies were applied within a diverse group of courses during the fall 2016 semester (e.g., courses for general education, major requirements, electives, etc.). Fidelity data indicated the extent to which the ethical reasoning intervention was implemented with high fidelity. Outcomes assessment data were collected and integrated with fidelity data to determine the effectiveness of the implemented ethical reasoning intervention. Results provided evidence of statistically and practically significant improvements in students’ ethical reasoning skills. In addition, results suggested that specific features of the ethical reasoning intervention positively influenced students’ ethical reasoning abilities. This study provides an example of how assessment practices can be effectively integrated with curriculum and pedagogy to demonstrate learning improvement.
Smith, Kristen L., "Integrating implementation fidelity and learning improvement to enhance students’ ethical reasoning abilities" (2017). Dissertations. 153.