Portfolio Questions

Describe your plan for creating shared responsibility for assessing and improving student learning (100 - 200 words).

Assessment committees for colleges, programs, and general education goal areas are responsible for creating assessment plans, coordinating the collection of assessment data, and writing assessment reports. Program faculty members make decisions on how to use the data for improvement of student learning or improvement of assessment practices. The new assessment consulting service will enhance peer support for those doing assessment work. Program assessment plans and reports will be reviewed by the Assessment Steering Committee, which will provide feedback to programs and which may recommend institutional-level changes to improve student learning or assessment practices. Changes to curriculum or assessment policies require approval by the Faculty Senate. Assessment will provide data useful for strategic planning at the institutional level, and the institution will provide professional recognition for assessment work and resources to support assessment.

What is the broader impact of your Academy work on the institution, faculty and staff,  students, or other stakeholders? How will this work influence the culture of your organization, build institutional capacity, advance teaching and learning...etc. (100 - 200 words)?

The tasks, timelines, and indicators of success for the project on Assessment of Student Learning in Programs will be incorporated into the institutional Strategic Plan. As outlined in the planning/budget model currently under development, data from assessment will be used in conjunction with other institutional data to inform resource allocation on our campus. As with other elements of the Strategic Plan, budgeting will be based partly on how well these indicators are met. To raise the profile of assessment and reaffirm with faculty members the value of assessment, Barbara Walvoord will visit our campus for two days in January of 2008 to offer workshops on several topics. We will continue to offer workshops on days set aside by the institution for professional development. Most of the workshops offered on these days focus on teaching and learning, and we emphasize the use of assessment to improve student learning in our workshops. The consultant training program will build institutional capacity for assessment by creating a new group of assessment “experts” who will assist programs and program faculty with assessment-related tasks. The implementation of the General Education Assessment Plan will provide additional faculty members with assessment responsibilities and will increase the need for workshops and consulting services. The implementation of revised guidelines for program assessment plans and reports also will increase the need for these services.

Optional: What else is important to know about your work on assessing and improving student learning? (100 - 200 words)?

We have a very active and successful Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Forming a closer bond between CETL and the Assessment Steering Committee offers potential for synergy. Assessment Steering Committee members have offered assessment workshops in recent years on professional development days organized by CETL. The Assessment Steering Committee also is collaborating with CETL to bring Barbara Walvoord to campus for our January 2008 workshop days. We have placed an increased emphasis on communicating with faculty members, especially through our website.

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