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Appears in:
Pages: 5698-5701
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

CLASP: THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS STUDENTS IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

C. Nickerson, V. Goby

Zayed University (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
Quality Assurance has now become in major factor in higher education. The need to obtain accreditation, supported by appropriate assessment procedures, is a fact of life for many of those involved with higher education around the globe. For programmes in Business Studies in particular, the accreditation provided by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) remains the best known global quality assurance programme, and therefore the most sought after. This presentation will focus on the efforts made at a business school in the Gulf to develop an assessment tool to evaluate the communication skills of undergraduate students following a Business Sciences degree.

Communication skills in business are seen as vital in the Gulf. In the United Arab Emirates, much education is now geared towards producing bilingual Arabic-English speakers able to function across all social domains. For the students at Zayed University, one of the university’s Learning Objectives is therefore formulated as follows: ZU graduates will be able to communicate effectively in English, using professional conventions appropriately; ZU graduates will be able to understand and value their own and other cultures, perceiving and reacting to differences from an informed and socially responsible point of view. For the Business students at Zayed, this University Learning Objective is encapsulated in two of the Business School’s own Learning Objectives; i) The ability to communicate effectively in the business environment, i.e. Students will be required to demonstrate competence in professional communications, and ii) The ability to compete successfully in a global business environment , i.e. Students will gain an understanding of culturally-determined differences in communication and learn how to operate effectively within multicultural work settings.

In order to develop an appropriate assessment tool we first translated the Business School’s Learning Objectives into a series of five components, under the acronym CLASP, i.e. Cultural literacy, Language & genre, Audience awareness, Social capital and Persuasion. Each of these were then considered at three different process levels, i.e. Knowledge, Comprehension and Application, to allow us to evaluate the students’ ability to perform effectively for each component. This generated a five by three matrix combining learning objective components and level of knowledge processing. A set of multiple choice questions were then developed for each of the components to assess the students’ Knowledge, and likewise, a set of cases were also developed for each component to assess the students’ Comprehension and Application. Both the multiple choice questions and the cases were tested for fit for each component in consultation with other faculties, a bank of questions and cases was developed to enable us to conduct different versions of the same test, and an assessment rubric was developed for each component ranging from Very Poor through to Excellent. Two testing moments at the beginning and end of the eighteen month period spanning the students’ communication courses were also identified, and the questions and cases were piloted to initiate the first round of assessments in February 2011. In the concluding part of our presentation, we will report on our progress and we will provide some suggestions for other faculty working towards assessment procedures within an accreditation programme.
@InProceedings{NICKERSON2011CLA,
author = {Nickerson, C. and Goby, V.},
title = {CLASP: THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS STUDENTS IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {5698-5701}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Nickerson AU - V. Goby
TI - CLASP: THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS STUDENTS IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 5698
EP - 5701
ER -
C. Nickerson, V. Goby (2011) CLASP: THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS STUDENTS IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 5698-5701.
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