Purpose: Assessment is the systemic process in higher education to monitor and improve student learning and program effectiveness. Although most campus educators today seem to understand the basics of assessment, and many are doing it, there remains a need to refine our practice and to advance our collective work to assure and improve educational quality. Even more, the current press to demonstrate college value, ensure equity and inclusion, and improve student learning and success, makes it incumbent for more campus educators to be familiar with the goals of assessment and accreditation. This workshop offers a practical introduction to the essentials of assessing educational effectiveness and student learning for campus educators, including faculty, staff, and administrators. We begin with a broad overview of purpose of assessment and the rationale behind the process and then shift to more practical matters, including planning and organizing assessment and approaches to generating evidence. Throughout the session, you will learn about good practices, common challenges, and pitfalls to avoid. Topics addressed will be applicable to colleges and universities, courses and the co-curriculum, general education, and professional programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Your learning will culminate in the creation of a professional development plan for deepening your expertise in assessment practice.
1. Become familiar with the key elements of essential assessment practice;
2. Identify approaches to organizing for assessment;
3. Describe and evaluate methods and measures for assessment practice;
4. Recognize strategies for manageable and sustainable assessment;
5. Apply assessment practices to current issues in higher education, including student success and equity and inclusion, and accreditation requirements and standards;
6. Be conversant about assessment essential practices and share this knowledge with institutional colleagues;
7. Develop a professional development plan for deepening expertise in assessment practice.
Audience: Campus educators, including faculty, staff and administrators committed to learning more about the practice of assessment and to engaging in assessment and accreditation initiatives at their institution, and who want to deepen their expertise in assessment and accreditation.
I. Defining assessment: What is assessment and why do we do it?
II. Assessment issues today: How does assessment address critical issues of demonstrating college value, ensuring equity and improving student learning and success?
III. Key elements and strategies of essential assessment practice: What is good assessment?
IV. Assessing educational effectiveness and learning in all the right places: How do we organize for assessment?
V. Assessment methods and measures: What are effective approaches to doing assessment?
VI. Exploring levels of assessment practice: What distinguishes assessment at the University/College, Program and Course, and Co-Curricular-levels?
VII. Valuing the purpose of assessment: How do we assure that assessment is about informing initiatives and making meaningful improvements to educational quality?
VIII. Closing the loop: How do we use assessment results and know if assessment is making a difference?
IX. Strategies for useful and manageable assessment: What strategies need to be in place to make assessment sustainable?
X. Applying assessment practice to accreditation standards and requirements: How can we strengthen the link between assessment practice and accreditation?
XI. Deepening assessment practice: How can committed campus educators advance their assessment expertise?
NWCCU standards go live on January 1, 2020. In these new standards, institutions are expected to identify and utilize student achievement indicators that align with indicators for peer institutions at the regional and national levels. Following on the learning of the convening of the Oregon Student Success Center, regional experts will share how institutions can work together to support institutional efforts toward collecting and sharing data related to student learning and student achievement. Participants will be offered the opportunity to be paired together for future collaboration around benchmarking and data-sharing.