Working towards 100% participation by faculty


I chatted with Gary after someone in a program asked me what actual threat existed that he could use to coerce his (more senior) colleagues into participating in program assessment.

I mentioned the carrot approach — all the potential benefits — but I figure that this question will continue to come up, and I sought out Gary for a more official answer regarding the Stick.

This is what I came up with after that conversation with Gary, which afterwards got his ok.

Regarding broad participation of faculty in assessment:

One thing the accreditors cited WSU for last year (2009) is the low level of participation in assessment found in many programs … a few people doing most or all of the work of assessment.

Getting more folks to participate:

Carrots:
·       What does your faculty want to know about its program, about student learning?  Program assessment can and should be designed to answer a question you all care about.

·       A significant number of faculty must be involved in assessment, including senior faculty, for these efforts to systematically impact a program.

·       Quality assessment supports ongoing program improvement, contributing to your program’s reputation.

The stick:
Programs whose assessment doesn’t have broad faculty involvement —  i.e., not close to full participation — may  jeopardize WSU’s institutional re-accreditation, which is risky particularly  in the current era of funding cuts at the state level and of increased competition (including online education) in general.

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