All grade inflation articles

Competency Level versus Level of Competency: The Field Evaluation Dilemma

Published October 2013

by Robin L. Ringstad, PhD
California State University, Stanislaus
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Abstract: This study examines the use of a competency-based scoring rubric to measure students’ field practicum performance and competency development. Rubrics were used to complete mid-year and final evaluations for 56 MSW students in their foundation field practicum. Results indicate that students scored higher than expected on competency development measures, appearing to provide evidence of good overall program outcomes in terms of competency levels achieved by students. Results also appear to provide evidence of grade inflation by field instructors, however, calling into question whether students have actually gained adequate skills to engage in competent social work practice.

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