Student Progression Tracking and Competency-Based Assessment: How Programs are Monitoring Skills Development in Healthcare Education

Student Progression Tracking and Competency-Based Assessment

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The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and education programs must keep up with these rapid changes to ensure that graduates are well-prepared for their careers and can provide the best possible patient care. One way to address the potential skills gap issues related to the continuous advancement of healthcare knowledge is through the use of student progression tracking and competency-based assessment.

Student Progression Tracking in Healthcare Education

Student progression tracking is the process of monitoring and evaluating an individual student or cohort’s development and growth throughout their involvement with the curricula. In healthcare education, advanced progression tracking software can be used to identify problem areas where a student may be struggling early on and provide additional support, or even remediation, to help them succeed.

The ability to intervene earlier when a student struggles with the material is a critical component in overall student retention. Identifying and addressing issues quickly can enhance subject matter clarity, increase student confidence, and encourage mastery of the material.

Beyond keeping students on track and in school, progression tracking can be particularly useful in addressing the skill gap in healthcare education because it provides educators with insights into a student’s strengths and weaknesses in both the didactic learning environment and the acquisition of hands-on clinical skills. If correctly implemented, assessments of both methods of learning can identify the specific areas where students need additional support. This way, educators can provide more targeted feedback for students, as well as identify potential areas of improvement within the curriculum itself.

This operational efficiency allows institutions to place students more quickly into the workforce. Accelerating graduation helps programs with student retention as faster and more flexible education keeps students in school, and also aids in recruitment of new learners who want to progress to their professional careers in an expedited fashion.

In addition to its obvious benefits for student development, student progression tracking software also lends advantages to the educational programs themselves. Properly utilized student progression software helps with accreditation needs by ensuring students meet the standards set by regulatory bodies and professional organizations.

Competency-Based Assessment

In conjunction with student progression tracking, healthcare education institutions are also turning to competency-based education (CBE) models of evaluation. CBE is a method of academic instruction and assessment based on students demonstrating their mastery of a subject. CBE allows healthcare students to learn at their own pace and awards credit for evidence of proficiency – not for the amount of time spent in classrooms.

One example of CBE’s implementation is the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials documents, which guide curricular development across baccalaureate and higher degree programs, focusing on eight core competencies essential for nurses practicing in a variety of settings. The AACN is revising the Essentials to include new competencies, such as population health and palliative care, and to promote increased focus on diversity and equity in nursing education1.

In graduate medical education, competency-based education is used to track residency progress and tailor the training experience more closely to individual needs. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has developed competency-based milestones to provide feedback and guide learning in core healthcare competencies, including patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and professional skills, systems-based practice, and professionalism2.

The Ongoing Monitoring of Healthcare Training Skills Development

The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and healthcare education programs must keep up with these changes to ensure that graduates are well-prepared for their careers. Student progression tracking and competency-based assessment are two powerful tools that are utilized to address skills development in modern healthcare education.

At Education Management Solutions (EMS), we introduce Competency.AI, a powerful student assessment tracking platform designed to assist healthcare education institutions in effectively monitoring and analyzing student progression and competencies. Competency.AI is a cloud-based application for educational assessment tracking solutions, allowing schools to develop and oversee competency-based curricula.

This innovative tool empowers healthcare education institutions to gain insights into each student’s learning journey, providing tailored support for their growth. By leveraging Competency.AI, institutions can make informed decisions to enhance overall educational outcomes. Trust Competency.AI for a comprehensive and efficient solution in educational assessment tracking, ensuring healthcare education remains at the forefront of excellence.

To learn how EMS’ solutions can help your training program, schedule a discussion with one of our solutions experts.

  1. Lewis LS, Rebeschi LM, Hunt E. Nursing Education Practice Update 2022: Competency-Based Education in Nursing. SAGE Open Nursing. 2022;8. doi:10.1177/23779608221140774
  2. Team, N. K. (2017, June 15). What Is Competency-Based Medical Education? NEJM Knowledge+.
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