Update: STARS Technical Development Policy Feedback
UPDATE (Jan. 21, 2014)
Thank you for your feedback. The STARS Steering Committee has approved a revised Technical Development Policy that incorporates the changes outlined below.
Now that the first major revision of STARS has been completed and STARS 2.0 has been launched, it seems like an ideal time to assess the technical development process for the framework. Toward that end, the STARS Steering Committee formed a task force to take a look at the existing policy and make recommendations for improvement.
Some of the questions that informed the task force’s discussions included: What worked well during the process of moving from STARS 1.0 to 2.0? What were the challenges? How can STARS maintain a healthy balance between the need for continuous improvement and the need for continuity between versions? Are there opportunities to be more responsive to the needs of the community or to introduce change more incrementally?
In response, the task force has recommended that the STARS Steering Committee make several additions to what may be included as “Substantive Changes”. By way of reminder, the STARS Technical Development policy outlines three types of revisions that may be made to STARS:
Administrative Updates, which may include minor corrections (e.g. typos, inconsistencies, clarifications) and modifications (e.g. improved definitions, alternative approaches to measurement, new optional reporting fields) and may be made no more frequently than quarterly.
Substantive Changes, which may include changing required reporting fields and modifying how points are calculated for individual credits and may be made no more frequently than once per year. Substantive changes involve a change in version (e.g. 2.0 to 2.1) for both the Technical Manual and the online Reporting Tool.
Major Revisions, which may include any number or type of change (including re-weighting and restructuring the framework) and may be made no more frequently than once every two years. Major revisions involve a whole number change in version (e.g. the recent change from 1.2 to 2.0) for both the Technical Manual and the online Reporting Tool.
The task force’s recommendations include adding the following to the list of revisions that may be included as “Substantive Changes”:
- Changing the criteria required to earn points for a credit
- Adding or modifying contextual variability in scoring (i.e. allocating more or fewer points to a credit based on an institution’s context)
- Changing credit applicability (i.e. allowing or disallowing institutions with particular characteristics to mark a credit “N/A”)
- Adding or deleting a small number of credits
Alongside these additions, the task force has also recommended that some process for soliciting public feedback on Substantive Changes be followed prior to their approval and implementation.
The STARS Steering Committee would like to hear from the community on these proposed changes before it begins discussing them in earnest. Please comment below or send feedback/questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31, 2013.
(For reference, a complete tracked changes version of the proposed revisions is available on the STARS website.)
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