MEd KnOWLedge Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 4

Message from Paige Morabito, MEd Evaluation Supervisor

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Responding to the Queue Wisely

In her article in Forbes, Susan Adams (2012) discusses how Sports Scientist, Jack Groppel made a strong connection between what he learned about how athletes work out and those who lead in the business world. His perspective was, “Athletes needed to balance vigorous workouts with time to recover and regroup, both physically and mentally. It occurred to Groppel that these principals could be applied to business leaders as well” (para. 3).

Our queue has been a great example of this during the last six weeks. You all have provided vigorous sessions of evaluation and then, the following week, we have had a forced time to recover and regroup. While the feast or famine cycle we have seen may seem frustrating as we cannot fully predict either, there is an obvious pattern. This graph shows two interesting trends in the data. First, the blue line depicts how well we respond to student submissions, shown by the purple line. The total number of submissions for each day is shown on the right axis. The red line indicates our perfect percentage for completing evaluations in under 48 hours 3/1 through 3/9. You should all be very proud of how well you are meeting the expectations in regards to turn around times.

Regardless of the exact number of submissions, we do know one thing with absolute certainty, the last week of the month is the end of the semester for someone and likely many more than one student. With this information, we can make some decisions based on this constant.

  • Having our team meeting the last week of the month is not the best use of our time

at the peak week of submissions. Beginning in April, we will move our

team meeting to the second Tuesday of the month.

  • April’s team meeting will be held on April 12th.
  • Whenever possible, full-time evaluators will work on projects during the earlier

weeks of the month to avoid draining the queue.

We are all here to support our students and each other. Thank you for making the most of opportunities to “recover and regroup” when the queue is low so you can be renewed when the queue picks up again.

From Lisa Cantrell, Team Lead

A recent survey of higher education in the United States reported that more than 2.35 million students enrolled in online courses in fall 2004. This report also noted that online education is becoming an important long-term strategy for many postsecondary institutions. Given the rapid growth of online education and its importance for postsecondary institutions, it is imperative that institutions of higher education provide quality online programs.

Source :

Research Brief

Exploring Adult Learners' Perceptions of Technology Competence and Retention in Web-Based Courses.

Abstract: This study had a two-fold purpose. One is to discover through the implementation of usability testing which mode of tutorial was more effective: screencasts containing audio/video directions (dynamic) or text-and-image tutorials (static). The other is to determine if online point-of-need tutorials were effective in helping undergraduate students use library resources. To this end, the authors conducted two rounds of usability tests consisting of three groups each, in which participants were asked to complete a database-searching task after viewing a text-and-image tutorial, audio/video tutorial, or no tutorial. The authors found that web usability testing was a useful tutorial-testing tool while discovering that participants learned most effectively from text-and-image tutorials because both rounds of participants completed tasks more accurately and more quickly than those who received audio/video instruction or no instruction.

For the complete research study, click on the following link. Your password is wguevaluator14:

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Feedback Tips from Anne Price

Do: Create feedback using the stoplight method

  • All passing aspects receive positive, submission-specific step 1 comment only
  • All aspects needing revision receive a step 1 and step 2 comment
  • All aspects moving from needs revision to passing receive a positive step 1 comment

Do: Use step one comment with specifics aligned to the rubric

  • Prompt-specific information tells what is in the student paper that answers the prompt

Do: Use step 2 comments- telling students “why” something is insufficient

  • (It is unclear how this…. The section on …. could not be located. The answer, …. is incorrect. The diagram of …. is incomplete.)

Do: Use step 3 only when you need to provide them with additional guidance on revisions

  • Only when useful and adds value to the evaluation

Don’t combine step 2 and step 3 (examples of what not to do below)

  • Revisions are needed to complete the task requirements
  • Please revise to include more detail on …

Don’t: Treat the task like an assignment

  • This task is off to a great start.

Don’t: Indicate the task is difficult

  • This is a great first attempt at a difficult task.

Don’t: Forget feedback has to meet the needs of different audiences:

  • Students, Evaluators, Course mentors/Student Mentors, Managers, trainers, other university administration, Regulators, accreditors, DOE


  • Turn rubric aspects into questions.
  • If you are scoring as a pass, what do you see in the paper that makes it pass? This is the prompt specific information that should be included in your feedback.
  • Ask your team lead or supervisor when questions come up.
  • Evaluations are the permanent education records of the student competence.

Clarification of Policy: Annotated Bibliography and Literature Review Sources

From Jim Minor, Team Lead

Problem: Annotated bibliographies and literature reviews are required in several DRFs. Descriptors of the sources to be used for the reviews vary in the different tasks. Some have specific requirements for the type and number of sources. Verifying that sources are reports of empirical research requires extensive time from evaluators. The characteristics of an appropriate source may also be interpreted differently.

Resolution: Evaluators shouldn’t need to spend as much time trying to discern whether the sources are from empirical studies. “Peer-reviewed” eventually will replace the phrase “empirical/scholarly” in the task directions and rubrics of several DRFs, so use that as a guide for what to pass. Scholarly articles that assess previous research can be counted as empirical. This should make the appropriateness of sources more easily and uniformly verified.

DRFs affected:

· BEP Task 1, aspect C

· BEP Task 2, aspect D

· BGP Task 2, aspect A4

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The "Whys." Why did You Come to Work for WGU?

Carla Jackman: " I began working at WGU in September of 2014. I was very excited to be working in higher education. I was looking for something part time to stimulate my brain. In my current full time position I mainly work with children ages 4-11 and it is very enlightening to be able to read the work of students at the college level. I have gained lots of new knowledge, ideas and information from reading the tasks and through evaluating. WGU is truly a great place to work, it is stress free and very flexible. I look forward to many years to come at WGU."

Doresa Jennings: "An Accidental Journey"

  • "From NASA to the CDC and back to NASA"

  • "My kids got "kicked out of school" in pre-k and First Grade"

  • "I quit my job at NASA to homeschool my children"

  • "I went from online teaching as a "hobby" to it being my career"

  • "I was juggling multiple schools, but focusing on WGU allowed me to stop juggling my schedule so much and it felt good to settle in."

  • "I started in General Education, but moved to MED after about six months."

  • "Here I am!"

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MEd Evaluators in the Spotlight

Info Depot Scavenger Hunt Winners

Congratulations to:

Bloodhound Christine Celestino

Eagle Eye Beth Simmons

Super Sleuth Sandy Raynard


Jack Avella Gives his Daughter Away...

"My daughter, Katelyn Mary Avella, now Hebert, was married to Gabriel on Friday, February 26 at 5:30 pm at Lange Farm in Dade City, Florida, north of Tampa. Both Katelyn and Gabriel are exercise riders and horse trainers who spend half their year at Tampa Downs and the other half at the cream of the crop, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The wedding ceremony took place outdoors at Lange Farm, a working horse farm that hosts weddings, and the reception was held both inside and just outside the Antique Barn, a refurbished barn used for weddings. Thank goodness for the bonfire outside the barn as by 7 or 8 o'clock the temperature was approaching 40 degrees! Despite the stress of wedding preparations, all went well and it was a beautiful ceremony and a great reception. Katelyn and Gabriel are off to a very happy married life start and I have a wonderful new son-in-law. I have attached a picture of the proud Dad and his daughter!"

Valuable MEd Resources

Where in the U.S. are the MEd Evaluators?

Here is the link. You will have to sign in.

Some Responses to MEd Question of the Month: "What are you Most Excited about Doing Once the Weather Warms up?"

Sarah Hicks: " Playing around with another one of these..."

Paige Morabito: " I am most excited to travel and camp with my family… and go to an outdoor concert! This is us at Devil’s Tower last summer."

Blaine Wilson: "Joyce and I and the children and often times with their friends love the adventure aligned with camping and the beautiful southern Utah outdoors."

Jim Minor: "I'm going fishing with my granddaughter, Scout."

Beth Simmons: "I am most excited about living on fabulous Lake Martin in the spring! "

Samantha Anth: " My husband and I love to take "One Tank" road trips when it's nice. We drive, visit beautiful places, and often take one of our dogs with us. :-)"

Marlene Goss: "Spring is the time to plan my garden."

Totomuh Powell: "Taking longer walks..."

Denise Pfeiffer: "I tend to hibernate after sundown, so I most look forward to not feeling like my day ends at 5:30!"

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