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October 23, 2017

Online University Experience

Who evaluates WGU performance assessments?

The professionals who provide quality feedback on performance task submissions are WGU evaluation faculty members.  They hold academic credentials and professional experience in their respective fields that are pertinent to the courses they evaluate, and they are critical to each student’s journey toward graduation.  Although their quality feedback is an essential part of the WGU student learning experience, these faculty members are much less visible to students. To maintain the high level of objectivity necessary to deliver fair and accurate evaluations, student and evaluator information and their interactions are restricted to the anonymous performance assessment environment.  In addition, evaluators dedicate themselves to delivering helpful feedback quickly, usually well under the 72-hour service level to which they are committed.  They participate in student success as they observe the growth of students who improve their submissions based on their quality feedback and as they see students continue on to graduation.  

Evaluation faculty members are hired based on their educational degrees, work experience, and appropriate licensure and credentials.  Evaluators are subject matter experts in their disciplines who are able to apply competency-based education within their role at the university.  Once hired, these faculty members undergo a rigorous online training program that develops their ability to evaluate effectively using rubrics and to provide appropriate feedback according to the specific procedures and assessments within their area of expertise.  Thereafter, evaluators calibrate with other evaluators on their team, with the guidance of course leads and based on quality assurance checks, inter-rater agreement studies, and multi-variate analysis.  For further details, see “How are evaluation faculty members prepared to deliver quality feedback?

The map here shows where the 1,111 Evaluation Department employees live; some 962 of them are Evaluation faculty members while the remaining employees are management, administrative, and support staff.  Of the Evaluation Department employees, 343 (31%) hold doctorates; roughly 994 (90%) hold master’s degrees.

WGU evaluators live in every state, working full- and part-time from their home offices.  

Map of WGU evalutation departments by state of residence.

Because we employ evaluators from all across the country, this removes regional bias from our evaluations.  About 75 percent of evaluation faculty work for WGU part-time (on average 15 to 25 hours a week), and the majority of the part-timers are employed in academic and professional careers outside of WGU related to their evaluation area.  Using these part-time professionals enables WGU to apply up-to-date industry expertise to our standards for competency.

Here are photographs of evaluators at some regional gatherings when they sometimes meet with other Evaluation Department members.

Photo of evaluation faculty
WGU evaluation assessments
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