Assessment-Driven Research Opportunities Volume 3: Developing Scholarship Projects: A Step-by-Step Approach

scott's thoughts Jan 31, 2023

Welcome back to the Massey & Martin LLC newsletter, as we continue our series on promoting scholarship among your program’s PA Faculty. Today I am sharing my “checklist” for developing scholarship projects.

This can serve as a primer for preparing and launching a project. Although this is not an exhaustive list, it provides an excellent framework for beginning. You will note that our previous newsletters have addressed several of these points already, and you may now see how those steps fit into the overall planning of a study.

    1. Brainstorming: List a question or questions that intrigue you such as: 
      1. Questions that need to be answered
      2. Phenomenon seen in the classroom
      3. The impact of the new pedagogical method
      4. Attitudes of students toward specific teaching methods
    2. Questions to answer before moving too far in the process:
      1. Has this question already been asked in PA education? 
      2. Has this question already been definitively answered in PA education? 
      3. ...
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Assessment-Driven Research Opportunities Volume 2: Steps in Research Design and Publication

scott's thoughts Jan 24, 2023

In today’s newsletter, we’ll continue the topic of scholarship and publication for PA faculty. Last time we covered the beginning steps, like choosing a question for research, obtaining the assistance of a research and scholarship mentor, and doing a literature search. Now let us discuss what should happen next in creating the study design.

Conceptualizing the research design

Once a faculty member has a subject in mind, as well as a clear understanding of the other literature concerning it and the PA field’s current viewpoint or position, if any, it is time to decide the approach to take toward the study. The faculty member should take time to clearly conceptualize the research design, plotting a mental course for its path. I recommend consideration of the following point:

    • The target audience. Who will read the research results? 
    • The format of the study. Decide whether to follow a specific group over time to document the impact of an educational...
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Assessment-Driven Research Opportunities Volume 1: PA Faculty and Scholarship

scott's thoughts Jan 17, 2023

Welcome to a new series of Massey & Martin, LLC’s newsletters. I’m pleased that we will spend the next several letters discussing an issue that is ever-present and always important to education professions: the “publish or perish” phenomenon. 

No instructor of higher education is free from the pressure of proving to a wider audience that progress is being made; though the function of a PA program may be different than the halls of a standard state university, we still want to encourage our faculty to engage in scholarship. There are just so many benefits of doing so. Successfully doing so brings attention not only to the authors but to the program itself. Publication effectively shares findings, establishes reputations, and furthers research. Students can investigate publications generated by a program to gauge its mission and values, increasing the good reputation of the program.

Yet PA faculty often find themselves in a quandary about generating...

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Conquering the ARC-PA Pass Rate Report Volume 6: Creating and Completing the Pass Rate Report

scott's thoughts Jan 10, 2023

Welcome once more! In the past five newsletter we have reviewed the components expected from ARC-PA when a PA Program must complete the Required Report for Low First-Time Taker Pass Rates. Now that we covered the ten categories of information that ARC-PA designates, let’s discuss how to create and submit a report that will satisfy their requirements.

ARC-PA’s Key Elements of Analysis

The key concept is to present data related to each required area, then attempt to correlate the results to the program’s PANCE performance. When filling out your report, follow these guidelines:

  • Provide narrative describing your program’s approach to analysis of the data collected and displayed, including the benchmarks and thresholds (with rationale) used. 
  • Provide narrative describing the analysis of all data collected and displayed. Include resulting conclusion(s) and application of the analysis to the program.
  • List the strengths of the program identified because of the...
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Conquering the ARC-PA Pass Rate Report Volume 5: Attrition Criteria and Feedback

scott's thoughts Jan 03, 2023

In today’s issue, we will tackle the remaining subjects for analysis when completing the ARC-PA’s PANCE Required Report for Low First-Time Taker Pass Rates. To summarize the subjects of our last few issues, here again is the list of the details requested by ARC-PA on their form, as these details relate to your PA program’s PANCE outcomes. I will also note the volume in which these subjects were covered in our current series.

  • Admissions criteria as predictors of success (Volume 2)
  • Individual course performance (Volume 3)
  • Course and instructor evaluations (Volume 3)
  • Program instructional objectives, learning outcomes, and breadth and depth of the curriculum (Volume 4)
  • Student summative evaluation results (Volume 4)
  • Remediation practices and results (Volume 4)

 Today we’ll cover the final four points:

  • Attrition criteria and data for cohort being reviewed 
  • Feedback from students who were unsuccessful on PANCE, if available 
  • Preceptor and...
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Conquering the ARC-PA Pass Rate Report Volume 4: Instructional objectives, summative evaluation results, and remediation

scott's thoughts Dec 27, 2022

Thank you for joining me again as we continue our discussion of meeting the ARC-PA’s requirement of 85% or better first-time PANCE pass rates, and how to complete the necessary report if this benchmark is not met. In our previous issue, we looked at two of the ten ARC-PA points of analysis: individual course performance, and course/instructor evaluations. Today we will cover the next three success predictors as defined by ARC-PA and how to use their analysis to improve your PA program’s PANCE first-time pass rates. 

Program instructional objectives, learning outcomes, and breadth and depth of the curriculum

Your program should measure the adequacy of instructional objectives, learning outcomes and depth and breadth of the curriculum through several different methods. For example:

  • Conducting a descriptive and parametric analysis essentially determines the relationship between performance in didactic courses and future success on the PANCE.
  • Considering whether the...
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Conquering the ARC-PA Pass Rate Report Volume 2: Analyzing Admissions Criteria

scott's thoughts Dec 20, 2022

Welcome back! In our last issue we began this series on meeting the ARC-PA’s requirement of 85% or better first-time PANCE pass rates, and how to complete the necessary report when this benchmark is not met.  The ARC-PA expects ten separate elements to be examined in their report, so today we will look in depth at the first of ten. While this information is valuable in determining where a PA program needs improvement, it is equally, if not more valuable for establishing an ongoing assessment process that prevents future pass-rates from dropping below benchmark.

Admissions Criteria as Predictors of Success

A PA program must examine the relationship between admissions variables and student success on the PANCE. This includes looking at both undergraduate GPA, and the science GPA. This can be examined from a descriptive viewpoint including the relationship specifically for those that failed the PANCE as well as from a parametric viewpoint looking at the variance and strength...

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Conquering the ARC-PA Pass Rate Report Volume 3: Individual Course Performance and Course/Instructor Evaluations

scott's thoughts Dec 20, 2022

I am glad to have you join me once more as we continue our discussion of meeting the ARC-PA’s requirement of 85% or better first-time PANCE pass rates, and how to complete the necessary report if this benchmark is not met. In our last issue, we looked at the first of the ten ARC-PA points to analyze as it correlates to PANCE scores, admissions criteria. Today we move on to the second and third success predictors as defined by ARC-PA: individual course performance, and course and instructor evaluations. 

Individual course performance as a predictor of success

Stratification analysis of academic performance in certain classes often demonstrates significant differences in students who failed PANCE versus higher levels of performance. This can provide some guidance about levels of performance within academic classes that may demonstrate risk, thereby requiring additional academic coaching. As a result, PA programs can incorporate the threshold levels described in both the...

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Conquering the ARC-PA Pass Rate Report Volume 1: When ARC-PA requires PANCE performance analysis

scott's thoughts Dec 14, 2022

We all know that meeting ARC-PA standards is required for PA programs to retain accreditation. According to, in any year that the PANCE pass rate for first-time takers, by cohort for that year, has a pass rate percentage of 85% or less, “the PA program must submit an analysis of PANCE performance to ARC-PA within six months of providing this data within the Program Management Portal, or by July 1 of the following year, whichever is sooner.” You may download the PANCE Required Report for Low First-Time Taker Pass Rates from their website.

To put it simply, if less than 85% of your students can pass the PANCE on their first try, ARC-PA wants to know why. Moreover, they want you to demonstrate that you (and your program) know why it happened, and what modifications you can make to keep it from happening again.

Readers know by now my fondness for statistics, and no statistics about your PA program exist in a vacuum. Your first-time PANCE pass rate signifies a...

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Advanced Assessment Methods: How to Apply Advanced Assessment

scott's thoughts Nov 22, 2022

In my last blog, I discussed the use of stepwise regression, in which possible predictor variables are entered into a regression model until the best statistically significant variables are determined. I want to resume this discussion today by looking at some real-life examples of predictor variables and how they were determined.

Example 1

For a 2020 cohort, EORE and the number of remediations were the statistically significant (p < 0.01) predictors remaining in the model. A combination of these variables was the best predictor of PANCE scores. With enough data, you can begin to identify a Multiple Variable Risk Model. The multiple correlation coefficient (correlation between PANCE scores predicted by the model and actual PANCE scores) for this final model was high (R =0.76). The variables (EORE and number of remediations) explained 58.3% of the variance in PANCE scores 

Example 2

For a 2020 cohort, the EORE, History and Physical I, Clinical Medicine I, Clinical Problem...

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