Comparing the Borich model with the Ranked Discrepancy Model for competency assessment: A novel approach
Keywords:gaps, needs, professional development, extension
In 1980, Borich presented a new model that allowed errors in an individual’s judgment of self-proficiency to be offset by considering the perception of a group. The model relied upon the calculation of means for competency items measured with ordinal scales, an approach subject to debate in modern times. The purpose of our study was to explore the use of a novel approach we developed, the Ranked Discrepancy Model (RDM), as an alternative method to the Borich model for determining training needs. Data obtained from an online survey of extension professionals employed by a land-grant university in the United States was used to compare the training needs identified by applying the Borich model with those identified by applying the RDM. A very strong and statistically significant correlation existed between the scores derived from using both models, demonstrating a high level of consistency between models. Researchers conducting competency research should consider adopting the RDM given its suitability for delivering results that closely resemble findings from the Borich model while providing improved rigor in methods and increased detail about training needs.
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