Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Betty L. Beach
Ohmer Milton, Mary Jo Hitchcock, Grayce E. Goertz
A conceptual model for implementing and evaluating a competency-based dietetic program was developed for use with the Coordinated Undergraduate Program in Dietetics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The feasibility for using the evaluation component of the model was assessed for five priority competencies identified as essential for an entry-level generalist dietitian in the areas of quantity food procurement, production, and service.
Sub-competencies and performance indicators were identified for each of the competencies. Didactic and clinical courses in food systems administration were reviewed to ascertain which quarter each competency was introduced and the desired level of performance at designated points in the program. Food systems administration faculty and clinical instructors identified the minimum level of acceptable performance to be achieved by the students. A pool of questions was developed for constructing criterion referenced instruments to evaluate students' cognitive performance at various times during the professional phase of the program and an analysis of exam performance indicated to both student and clinical instructors the competency or competencies and sub-competencies requiring remedial work and/or additional clinical experiences. A total of 45 students in the 1976 and 1977 classes were used to ascertain if the approach in evaluating cognitive performance was applicable to the Coordinated Program.
Four performance exams were constructed from a pool of 85 recall and 35 application questions. The content of the exams varied according to the point in the program the students were being evaluated. Remedial work and additional experience were planned for students failing to achieve 75 per cent, the minimum of acceptable performance, on any of the competencies. No consistent relationship was found between performance on the exams and profile data such as time spent preparing projects and participating in activities related to competencies, ACT scores, and grade in course. Results on the exams indicated the benefits of continuous evaluation as an integral part of a coordinated program and the importance of testing conditions on student performance.
The model developed for implementing and evaluating a competency-based dietetic program was feasible for use with the Coordinated Undergraduate Program in Dietetics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. As the model was employed to only five competencies identified for food systems administration, the application of the model should be extended to incorporate all areas of the program.
Shanklin, Carol Williams, "The Assessment of the Feasibility for Using the Evaluation Component of a Model for Implementing and Evaluating a Competency-Based Dietetic Program. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 1976.