The Emerging Learning Design Journal

Document Type



Many institutions of higher education measure learning outcomes through performance-based assessments or rubrics, resulting in the exploration of innovative methods to administer these types of assessments (Anglin, Anglin, Schumann & Kaliski, 2008). At Western University of Health Sciences – College of Dental Medicine, performance-based assessments have been transformed into interactive, electronic versions in which faculty graders use their computers or mobile devices to submit scored rubrics complete with feedback for the students. A major advantage of the software, ExamSoft, we utilize is the ability to link learning outcomes to assessments, resulting in generating robust reports that display longitudinal data for individual students and each cohort. A pilot test was launched in December 2014 and lasted through February 2015 in order to gather data and improve processes prior to fully transitioning to electronic rubrics for dental competency exams. The development, implementation, and launching of electronic rubric grading was challenging, yet produced numerous benefits for the dental program. Faculty, staff, and administration can generate more robust reports that measure students’ institutional and program learning outcomes. With this data, longitudinal reports are a means to track and measure student outcomes. The transition to electronic grading has also resulted in a streamlined process, efficient and smoother workflow, decrease in the likelihood of miscalculations due to human error, quicker turnaround for releasing grades and feedback to faculty members and students, and data to support recommended improvements to the curriculum. Our advancement in electronic grading ensures our place at the forefront of dental education, assessment technologies, and higher education.



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