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Excellence in Technology for Testing and Learning Evaluation

2017 Brandon Hall Gold Award

New England College of Business’ faculty and staff are always on the lookout for ways to improve upon our offerings and enhance our students’ experience. A recent partnership with Authess, a start-up company that develops authentic assessments, was one such endeavor.

Brandon Hall Group, a research firm in the performance improvement industry, gives out a series of prestigious awards each year to organizations that excel in providing a better experience to their clientele. NECB is proud to have been named in Brandon Hall Group’s 2017 Excellence in Technology Awards, receiving the gold award in “Best Advance in Technology for Testing or Learning Evaluation,” with the submission “Measuring What People Can Do, Not Just What They Know, AI Power Assessments.”

NECB’s Dean of Undergraduate Studies Donna Viens and Vice President of the Center for eLearning Excellence Paula Bramante were searching for a way to address skills, such as empathy, resourcefulness, communication, and problem identification in the curriculum of NECB’s online business degree program. They felt it was important for students enrolled in an Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program to learn these “soft skills” alongside other competencies, such as commercial lending.

By adding a custom-designed authentic assessment tool, which was procured through the partnership with Authess, Viens was able to incorporate the teaching and measuring of these “soft-skills” in the Principles of Banking course. Such skills now deemed to be of critical importance to employers across all verticals. The use of machine learning and data analytics allowed NECB to cost-effectively document measurable improvement in these higher-order critical thinking and emotional intelligence skills among our students. The success of this program has inspired the Academic Affairs department to consider incorporating this technology in a broader number of courses in the online business school.

The collaboration is highlighted in this short video, which discusses the Authentic Assessment in the Principles of Banking course.

A History of Excellence

It is not the first time NECB has earned an award from Brandon Hall Group. In 2016, the online business school’s Master of Human Resource Management Program was honored with a Bronze Award for “Best Use of Games and Simulations for Learning.” In 2014, NECB won the 2014 Silver Award for “Best Learning Team,” recognizing the eLearning team’s work in building the new programs for NECB’s online business degrees.

According to Bramante, NECB was one of hundreds of companies competing for these sought-after awards. The competitors spanned 25 industry verticals and hailed from 15 countries.

NECB has a proud and storied track record of success. To learn more about the awards NECB has won, visit our awards page.

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