Assessment Tools/Measures

Three evaluation mechanisms will be used: residency, annual, and engaged scholarship.

1) Residency Evaluation. Upon completion of each weekend residency (August, September, etc.,), each student is required to complete an online survey assessing the module content and instruction. In between residencies, students will write short essays integrating readings and lecture with the continual revision work on their case studies, book reviews, and multimedia projects. The portfolio products will be evaluated and will assess student integration of foundation, clinical practice, and engaged scholarship learning goals. Each residency will be evaluated as pass/fail.

2) Evaluation of Engaged Scholarship. The Engaged Scholarship project (i.e., case study and multimedia project) has oral and written evaluation components. During the last residency (June) of the second and third year, students will present projects to faculty. If a student fails the oral and written evaluation, they will be required to develop, with advisor input, a supplemental plan for passing. 


The DSW Director, Director of Curriculum, and DSW Faculty set the benchmarks along with consultation with the DSW Executive Committee. The writing intensive curriculum places emphasis on producing quality portfolio products through intensive revision. Each of the portfolio products (case studies, book review, and multimedia case study— engaged scholarship project) is designed to integrate the clinical, foundation, and engaged scholarship learning goals. The DSW Faculty will determine the quality of the portfolio products; all products will be evaluated (pass/fail). Students will submit their products to traditional and online peer-review and non-peer review publication venues.


  1. Within one year of graduation, students will submit their case studies and qualitative papers to either a traditional (print), peer-reviewed journal, or an online, open-access outlet. Our goal is that 75% of a student cohort would have their work published in peer-review print, or online open access outlet.
  2. Upon graduation, students will submit their engaged scholarship multimedia projects to a DSW faculty to evaluate for publication in the DSW’s own online, open access multimedia site.


  1. The standard peer-review journal process comprises a rigorous academic standard for the quality of the portfolio products.
  2. The portfolio products published on the DSW website will be evaluated by the DSW faculty; the standard will be that manuscripts must meet peer-review standards, the difference being that by the end of the program, the peer-review process may prevent some from publishing; however, the feedback from the journal and DSW peer-review process will lead to revisions and for further submissions post graduation. Finally, standards will be determined by the DSW faculty and reviewed by the DSW Executive Committee. 

Finally, the DSW Executive Committee and the DSW faculty will engage in an annual review of all assessment and evaluation documents and propose changes that reflect advances in practice. Changes in Learning goals can be implemented with any cohort as the module structure can flexibly change with the practice environment. New learning goals will result from an ongoing evaluation of each cohort’s experience, thus every 3 years a thorough review of the curriculum will result in modular elimination, change or development.   The modular format of the DSW facilitates change in learning goals by making it easier to alter one or two modules within a course area, rather than eliminating, creating, and implementing an entirely new course. Thus, the structure of the curriculum builds flexibility for change.