Those of you who know me know I'm quite an advocate for certifying agencies to supplement their certification programs with other programs that support their purpose/mission.
The Commission on Dietetic Registration has a great example of a product (other than certification) that supports their mission of public protection. Their Assess and Learn series of modules assess users' knowledge and skill in targeted areas of dietetics practice and then provide education in those areas where it is needed.
So, how do the modules work? Through the use of case scenarios, learners are presented with information about clients, and then they take on the role of the dietetics professional in the case and answer questions about how to provide quality care for those clients. While the initial focus is on self assessment, these tools are valuable learning instruments because each multiple-choice question is followed by feedback that identifies which answer is correct, explains why that answer is correct , and lists current references and links for additional information. Evidence-based nutrition guides for practice and protocols, current research literature, and existing government disease-specific consensus guidelines and recommendations are used to support the various courses of action and care.
The self-assessment is not a test that you pass or fail. The focus is on learning. The outcome of the self-assessment is performance feedback to assist learners in determining learning needs. At the conclusion of the module, learners receive a detailed report that outlines how they performed on each self-assessment and on each performance task assessed through this module. They are also provided a list of recommended resources to help them learn more about the areas needed.
I think the Assess and Learn modules are very beneficial to dietetics professionals and, ultimately, to their clients -- since they assess dietitians' knowledge and skills and then address their weaknesses. Now, I admit I'm a bit biased because I've worked with CDR's authors to design these modules. And, you'll recognize the voice in the demo as my own. So, you be the judge! View the demo and let me know what you think?