Principled development of Workplace English Communication part 3: an Integrated Design and Appraisal Framework

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Oliveri, Maria E.
Slomp, David H.
Rupp, André A.
Mislevy, Robert J.
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The WAC Clearinghouse
Background: An expanded skillset is needed to meet today’s shifting workplace demands, which involve collaboration with geographically distributed multidisciplinary teams. As the nature of work changes due to increases in automation and the elevated need to work in multidisciplinary teams, enhanced visions of Workplace English Communication (WEC) are needed to communicate with diverse audiences and effectively use new technologies. Thus, WEC is ranked as one of the top five skills needed for employability. Even so, results of employer surveys report that incoming employees lack communication competency (National Association of Colleges and Employers [NACE], 2018). To address this issue, with a focus on WEC teaching and assessment, we describe a framework used to guide the design of WEC modules. We suggest that conceptual frameworks can be used to inform the design process of the module. In this article, we illustrate one such conceptual framework: the Integrated Design and Appraisal Framework (IDAF). IDAF holds consequences of testing as one of its central elements to guide test design and development. It emphasizes categorically identifying and ecologically modeling variables impacting WEC in general and the writing context in particular. It emphasizes the need for developing clearly articulated construct models to underpin the assessment, as well as incorporating a foundational focus on fairness and social consequences into the design process and use of assessments. Questions Addressed: In reference to the IDAF, our article addresses questions in the following three areas: the nature and benefits of an integrated design and appraisal approach to test design, development, and evaluation; the application of IDAF to complex communication tasks captured in formative assessment scenario-based modules of WEC; and the paramount importance of considering fairness and social consequences in the design and use of assessments administered to diverse populations. Thus, this article elaborates on the use of the IDAF to inform the design of WEC modules by explicitly articulating the needs of the test takers, the anticipated uses of the modules, and the contexts in which the modules would be used. Our questions are designed to address increasing complexities associated with the design of complex constructs such as WEC. This article describes considerations for the development of integrated learning and assessment modules for WEC. We start by reviewing principled assessment design frameworks, which have been used to inform the development of complex tasks across disciplines or fields. Following a description of WEC in terms of domain analysis and design patterns, we illustrate the application of the IDAF to inform the design of the modules. We conclude by providing an overview of our research questions and of how our article addressed them. We also discuss lessons learned with respect to the design of the prototype and the delicate balance of engaging in a principled design process that supports goals that empower students of diverse backgrounds to learn WEC. Conclusions: This article illustrates the application of the IDAF to inform the design and development of WEC modules. This article contributes to the literature on WEC and complex assessments of hard-to-assess constructs more generally by offering a way of thinking about designing, assessing, and then evaluating the design and assessment of interactive educational modules for teaching complex communication knowledge and approaches.
Open access article. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) applies
Anticipatory design frameworks , Digital modules , Integrated Design and Appraisal Framework (IDAF) , Workplace English Communication (WEC) , Writing analytics
Oliveri, M. E., Slomp, D., Rupp, A. A., & Mislevy, R. J. (2021). Principled development of Workplace English Communication part 3: An Integrated Design and Appraisal Framework. Journal of Writing Analytics, 5, 109-141.