BSW Curriculum Instrument

The Foundation Curriculum Instrument measures how well a program’s curriculum prepares students with the knowledge necessary for competent professional social work practice. The instrument is an exam, designed to be taken by students as they enter a social work program and again at the time of exit, with the explicit purpose of testing for knowledge gained throughout the program’s curriculum.
The newest version of the Foundation Curriculum Instrument consists of multiple choice questions that evaluate student knowledge (one dimension) across all nine (9) core competency areas of the 2015 EPAS (2008 EPAS instrument still available).
The report for the updated Foundation Curriculum Instrument includes aggregate scale scores for each core competency, with comparisons to the national average. For an additional cost, programs can order reporting of individual students’ scale scores. This is only available for online instruments and not available for paper.  The Foundation Curriculum Instrument individualized reports WILL NOT HAVE NAMES. Reports will match students by their student ID number.

For an overview of the Foundation Curriculum Instrument report, check out this video.

The Foundation Curriculum Instrument:
· – Provides a pre-post test for entering and exiting BSW students, and entering and exiting Foundation Year MSW students
· – Assists programs by identifying areas for curricula improvement
· – Continuous use reflects the impact of the curricula changes made
· – Instrument can be administered within typical one hour class, or online
· – Potential for peer group and national score comparisons

Order Version 10 (2015)


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Order Version 9 (2008)


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***Please Note***

The Foundation Curriculum Instrument individualized reports are not intended for use as grading tools. Neither students, nor programs, will know which questions any particular student scored correctly or incorrectly, since individual reports are aggregated to the competency level.  Additionally, a test bank is used for each instrument ordered.  We don’t want students to have incentives to tell each other the questions and the answers they selected and we don’t want programs “teaching to the test” as both scenarios would negate the point of  curriculum assessment.

The Foundation Curriculum Instrument was designed for, and is best used for, program assessment, but the individualized scores from pre to post social work program can help students see their own personal growth.

The Foundation Curriculum Instrument Version 9 (2008 EPAS designed)
– Reliability tested in two junior practice classes
– Students tested twice, 2 weeks apart
– Cronbach’s alpha = .784
– Effect Size d = 6.87
– Pearson’s correlation coefficient r = .86
– Item Difficulty Testing
*Foundation Curriculum Instrument = .523 (n=415)
Around .5 is “a very good difficulty level for the test. Not likely to
misrepresent the knowledge level of test takers² (Cohen & Swerdlik, 2005).

The Foundation Curriculum Instrument 10 (2015 EPAS designed)
– Psychometric analysis underway, and will be available soon.