TranSTEP does not aim to be a new idea. Instead, it aims to fill a need in current assessment practices. This need is for assessment perspectives to be better integrated and assessment communities to engage in more cross-institutional learning, also with problem owners and stakeholders. This basic conviction in TranSTEP implies that situation analysis and method reflection cannot be done as routine based actions, as TranSTEP groups are always “institutional innovations” that have not yet established any routines.
The cross-domain approach is perhaps the most unique feature of TranSTEP. As long as TranSTEP is not established as a domain in itself it will continue to make each trans-domain assessment process an innovation that is adapted to the specifics of the context in which it is used. In this sense, TranSTEP is integration for professionals, aiming to impact on professional practices, also in the longer term.
This is particularly useful for decision makers and policy makers that need to align and balance advice from different assessment communities. And it is useful for assessment professionals that wish to position their assessments better in the environment outside their own institutions.
The defining features of TranSTEP have some corollaries that may not be unique in themselves, but perhaps in combination:
- A corollary of the ad hoc nature of each TranSTEP process is that there is a very explicit focus on situation analysis and methodological deliberation.
- A corollary of the focus on integrating assessment perspectives from different domains is that TranSTEP offers a systematic review process of existing assessments.
- A corollary of the problem oriented focus in TranSTEP is that the assessment process includes real world problem owners and key stakeholders to the issue and the assessment outcomes are anchored in the policy or decision making context in which they will be used.