Researchers
May 18, 2020

The Academic Impact of Outcome Mapping and Self-Assessment in Research

Research programming through mapping and frameworks has been used to assess development in education. With outcome mapping, individuals take responsibility for their own self-assessment through an evaluative framework provided for them. This approach uses workshops, templates, and visual examples to create a process usable by those who bring about change that matters.
Source: Unsplash

Instructional reforms such as the teacher evolution rubric have developed into a web of professional development initiatives like outcome mapping. This methodology is used by teachers in independent or collaborative aspects to plan lessons that are more unit-based and aspire to achieve a specific goal, or “outcome.”

Big data trends are pushing towards intersectional subject studies, making outcome mapping through project-based learning the perfect outlet for this data and research to be applied. Evaluative frameworks to guide instructors as they learn how to perfect mapping lessons for long-term impact and their own self-assessment are necessary as this transition occurs.

Combining an Evaluative Framework with Outcome Mapping

The advent of technology in the 21st century has shown educators that there is a need for real and substantial change in both instructional methods and academic sources. It can quickly become overwhelming when so many microlevel aspects must be considered to formulate a macrolevel plan. Interrelated subjects full of their own set standards, content, and focal points intersect through outcome mapping in a way that must be planned, guided, and implemented strategically.

Not every instructor has the ability to do this on their own, and at the university level, many of these courses are cordoned off as their own department. Without the support of the faculty and administration, cross-collaborative departments don’t have the time or ability to work together to promote the implementation of outcome mapping for full academic impact.

While the process itself is complex, it is not intended to be difficult. With a combination of planning intersectional lesson plans, monitoring the results to determine if the goal expected was met, and a self-evaluation of how the instruction occurred as well as an objective evaluation of the students’ response to the instruction, an outcome map is more than beneficial enough to warrant the extra up-front work.

It’s helpful for the instructor to correlate the evaluative framework used in their institution to ensure the effort they gear towards outcome mapping is also parallel with their evaluation criteria. When one is taken care of thoroughly, the other becomes non-essential to be concerned with. The phrase “kill two birds with one stone” is apt here. Through a solid focus on outcome mapping, the teacher’s evaluative framework is also met.

The Stages of Outcome Mapping

For outcome mapping to meet the full definition of the term, it must consist of three main factors: a behavioral change, an understanding of those who will interact with the program and those who will be influenced by it, and the contribution that the program itself is intended to make; i.e., the outcome expected through the mapping.

Through each stage of mapping, these factors must be kept at the forefront of the design and creation. Each stage is unique and must be attended to in depth:

●      Stage 1 - Designing the plan: What macrolevel results are the target, and how can those results be achieved? This is the stage in which all of the questions have solutions but no full direction to get there. Why the results are important, who they will affect and who will be involved, what changes are on the horizon that the plan is intended to impact, and how the plan can be attributed to these changes.

●      Stage 2 - Monitoring the plan: This stage guides those who are involved as to their roles in the plan, how they will be expected to achieve them, and their resources along the way. Each person is an important cog in the machine of the plan’s implantation, and as such, they must be responsible for themselves through assessment tools designed in the planning and evaluation stage. When an interference is necessary, they’ll take the actions laid out in their tools.

●      Stage 3 - Evaluating the plan - As the plan is implemented, the evaluation system steps in to thoroughly review the progress towards the end target. In this stage, resources are planned for use effectively, alternatives to the plan at integral levels are developed, and the teams participating continue to gauge the temperature of the progress to determine its accuracy to the plans at that moment.

The stages all interrelate, and skipping one is dangerous to the success of the whole project.

Using Outcome Mapping for Self-Assessment

With its inherent focus on monitoring and evaluation throughout the entire project, outcome mapping is easily integrated into self-assessment for the instructor and the student. The evaluation is done intrinsically and habitually throughout the entire framework and implementation of the project. 

With the sources developed in the planning and evaluation and used in the monitoring stages, the documentation of assessment necessary in the evaluative framework are already apparent. Everyone involved from start to finish in the outcome mapping process, including other instructors, has a stake in the success and can use their own results through self-reflection to drive personal change and growth.

Impactio Can Help You with This Process

From start to finish, how you document and plan your outcome map needs to be organized and strategic. Having all of your information in one central place will help keep everything focused and together. Impactio’s program keeps your data safe, allows you to generate graphics and documents, and display them professionally when you are ready to publish your results to your peers and those impacted by the project’s results.

Keep your focus on mapping and implementing your project and let Impactio do the work of data compilation and storage for you.

Tags Academic Impact Self Assessment
Jason Collins
Writer
Jason is a writer for many niche brands with experience “bringing stories to life” for both startups and corporate partners.

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