How is a student's knowledge evaluated?
Each PEOI course has a variety of learning and testing procedures which are covered below. PEOI evaluation is initially spelled out in the grade composition previously discussed in student grade sheets and "What is a typical grade composition". But, beyond that, real evaluation of knowledge is far less rigid and formal. In truth, how the knowledge a student acquires from a PEOI course is evaluated depends on the student's goal in completing the course. The ultimate assessment is in the higher level of professional performance in the work place. Professional recognition in the form of a professional certification usually implies a series of exams. PEOI stands ready to provide its material for a student's benefit to achieve the highest professional standing possible. Moreover, as the material is updated and expanded, students can look upon PEOI as a permanent source of professional improvement. The recognition for such improvement can only come from the work place and is beyond the purview of PEOI. One may note, however, that continued improvement of PEOI course content is predicated on professional feedback that ought to take place from those who have completed PEOI courses.
PEOI professional courses are designed to offer what a university course would offer. What a university course should contain varies a great deal among countries, institutions and even individual instructors. PEOI will seek to comply with highest professional and academic accreditation standards. As a starting point, the volume of work and the level of knowledge used by PEOI are those of the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Since PEOI courses are delivered on-line, this offers additional opportunities and imposes special requirements. The additional opportunities come from a student's ability to link to various sites as part of the learning process. The additional requirements stem from the lack of contact hours. PEOI proposes that the 45 contact hours formulated by AACSB be converted into 90 hours of reading on-line, or an equivalent of half a million words. But such quantities are not measurable. What is measurable, instead, are notes taken by a student. Not in volume or style, but in recording correctly all essential concepts in a course. PEOI encourages all instructors of on-line courses to put some emphasis on student note taking.
Thus, for a university course, PEOI would normally expect a
combination of the following evaluation methods listed in decreasing
order of grading weight.
1- A comprehensive written examination lasting a minimum of two hours, adequately proctored, and administered as a final exam, should represent the bulk of overall course grade. For instructors who can arrange it, a comparable midterm exam is advisable. The content of both final and midterm exams should assess the ability to apply tools and concepts learned from the course, with lesser importance given to understanding the limitations of available processes, and memorizing professional terminology and techniques.
2- Case studies should be required in all PEOI courses under instructor supervision, and should be submitted as well-written and documented reports. As noted in "What student records are kept by PEOI?", only in the case of in-class courses, should instructors choose to place the largest weight of course overall grade on case studies. Even then, a proctored in-class exam should still be used to ascertain that the student has worked on the cases him/herself.
3- Research assignments involving work on the internet, in libraries or in the field are most appropriate; but theoretical or historical research should be limited to students who take a course as part of a primarily scientific (i.e. rather than professional) degree.
4- Timed tests using exercises and/or short essays can be conducted on-line or by e-mail, but should not replace final and/or midterm exams.
5- Periodic review quizzes should be used to provide feedback on student progress; but unless such quizzes can be administered in class (which is unlikely), they should be given a relatively light weight.
6- Quality of note-taking, as discussed above, should be verified, but not enter the grade unless a deficiency is clearly present, in which case points should be deducted from the grade. Instructors can also choose to assign a small bonus for well maintained note books. This evaluation of note-taking can be conducted for instance during the final exam.
7- Chat-room participation is very appropriate in organized and timed courses of groups of students under the supervision of a common instructor. For individual special study courses they are not significant, especially if students do not have time constraints. However, students may choose to enter comments that can be useful to other students in the "Comments" page of each chapter, and an instructor may want to give special bonus points for well conceived student comments.
8- Student contribution to group assignments also pertains to organized group courses under a common instructor. They are very useful in building teamwork capabilities but are only applicable in regular semester in-class courses.
The above list of evaluation methods applies to all types of
instruction with PEOI material. For course completion when a student
has no faculty supervision, the evaluation is heavily placed on
the first of the following two forms:
1- final comprehensive examination lasting no less than three hours with a content as described above
2- content of student grade sheets where results of course work and periodic tests are recorded
The final examination is arranged by PEOI at a college that is a member of Association of College Testing Centers or at a specialized testing service provider located as close as possible to the student. For instance, there are testing service providers that test for TOEFL, GRE and GMAT in practically every part of the world, and that can be contracted for final exam testing. This examination and grading are the exclusive responsibility of PEOI for all on-line courses, i.e. other than in-class courses.
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