How Pace University Benefits from Integrating the TrueLearn SLP Praxis® Smartbank into Their Graduate Program
Pace University in New York City created a Master of Science (MS) Graduate Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders admitting the first cohort in August 2018. The program has an on-site Speech, Language, and Hearing Center with state-of-the-art equipment. The mission of the Pace University Graduate Program in CSD is to prepare highly competent speech-language pathologists (SLPs) that support mastery of necessary skills for students to lead rewarding, intellectually and civically engaged lives. Graduates from this Program will be eligible for American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certification as well as other relevant local and state credentials upon graduation.
Integration and benefits to program and students
As a program initially in candidacy for accreditation from ASHA, we knew Praxis® pass rates are a required standard for accreditation. It was important that we prepare our students for the exam and demonstrate excellent program outcomes. We committed to providing students with a faculty-led Praxis® review workshop during winter break and having faculty incorporate Praxis®-type questions in assessments. There are not many comprehensive preparation tools available that are specifically tailored to students and SLP programs.
It was a fortunate coincidence that I received an email in June 2020 informing us of TrueLearn’s SLP SmartBank for Praxis® that was in its beta state. We scheduled a webinar to learn more and were impressed with the platform, its functionality, and the performance metrics it provided. We signed up to participate and were one of the early adopters as a University program.
We assigned TrueLearn quizzes to students and also completed quizzes as a group during our weekly clinical practicum seminar class. TrueLearn allows students to track their individual progress, identify specific areas of weakness, and benchmark their performance against national averages. Our students enjoyed the detailed explanations of responses, the varied testing modes, and the ability to learn about their own testing behaviors. For programs, the benefits included the ability to monitor both individual student and cohort performance, provide specific data regarding program outcomes, and identify potential gaps in the curriculum.
Positive feedback, improved learning & enhanced Praxis® outcomes
Initial feedback from students and faculty was positive so we decided to continue to utilize TrueLearn when it became a paid subscription. The University supported the funding for the first year. We have since incorporated the cost of TrueLearn as a lab fee in student tuition, so every student has access through the University program.
We have used TrueLearn with three cohorts and our Praxis® pass rates have exceeded standards. Our recent ASHA Accreditation site visit went well, and we pointed to TrueLearn as one of our formative assessment metrics. Students appreciate the ability to review questions with faculty and discuss rationales. TrueLearn provides us with a systemized structure for preparation for the Praxis®.
We can determine the number of questions in each quiz, the content areas for questions, level of difficulty of questions, and timeframe for completion of quizzes. TrueLearn provides customer support that is responsive and knowledgeable.
We continue to explore new ways to incorporate TrueLearn as a Praxis® preparation tool and to enhance student’s knowledge and skills. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with other SLP programs to share ideas and potentially collect data to support the efficacy of TrueLearn.
About the Author
Ellayne S. Ganzfried, M.S., CCC-SLP is a Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Speech, Language and Hearing Center at Pace University. She was formerly Executive Director of the National Aphasia Association and co-authored “The Word Escapes Me- Voices of Aphasia.”. Ellayne is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Fellow and National Academies of Practice Distinguished Fellow. Ellayne has written articles and presented nationally/internationally on many topics including aphasia, rehabilitation, IPE/IPP, and leadership skills. You can reach Ellayne Ganzfried at firstname.lastname@example.org.