Specifications Grading in the Sport Management Classroom: Breakdown of the System and Reflections Upon Implementation With Relation to Outcomes Assessment

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Tracy A. Trachsler Department of Sport Management, State University of New York at Cortland, Cortland, NY, USA

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Erin Morris Department of Sport Management, State University of New York at Cortland, Cortland, NY, USA

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Tara Q. Mahoney Department of Sport Management, State University of New York at Cortland, Cortland, NY, USA

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With increased interest in outcomes-based assessment in sport management programs, the Specifications Grading model can be implemented within individual courses to facilitate the process. Specific requirements that are articulated at course onset with explicit directions, samples of high-scoring work, and access to evaluation rubrics can set students on the path for achieving measurable benchmarks. Thus, the submissions become objective expressions of learning instead of a points-based bargaining tool. Implemented into an Introduction to Sport Management class, the model provided opportunities for consistent engagement with assessment tools in which students had agency and multiple chances to focus on improving the assessment to meet the benchmarks. The instructor reflected upon the experience, noting administrative elements to change to assist the overall implementation of the system but discovered that the Specifications Grading model centered the students in the learning process while providing meaningful outcome data for assessment purposes. Recommendations are provided for faculty interested in implementing it in their own classrooms.

Morris https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0301-7492

Trachsler (tracy.trachsler@cortland.edu) is corresponding author.

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