Ending casual approaches to assessment

“We’ve got to end casual, undisciplined approaches to learning and assessment.”
–Paul Lingenfelter, president of the State Higher Education Executive Officers.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/27/aacu

Wiki Page for the Self-Study Review Process

From: Joshua Yeidel
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 11:40:52 -0800
To: OAI messages
Subject: Self-Study Review Process Wiki Page

OAI folks,
In the course of working through the December Self-Study cycle, we have
developed a lot of informal knowledge about the process of handling
Self-Study Reviews.  Now it is time to capture and preserve that knowledge,
so that we can apply it to the May cycle.

I have started a wiki page with an outline of the process (the steps
identified in the Process Actions list “Next Actions” field).  Please add
what you know about the process steps to this page.

http://wiki.wsu.edu/ctltwiki/Assessment_of_Assessment_Self-Study_Review_Proc
ess

link reproduced here:  Assessment of Assessment Self-Study Review Process – ctltwiki

— Joshua

HEC Board Report (Feb 25, 2010)

Sent and accepted by WSU administration….
attached report  HEC Board Outcomes Report (March 2010 FINAL)

Update for Program Points on Assessment Status

A sample reminder for programs falling behind in the assessment work:

Just a quick note to catch up.  I last recall you were working on an assessment planning report, and we had talked about what we thought was a pretty good plan.  Let us know if there is more we can do to help you with this work.

FYI, making sure everybody is establishing an assessment plan and system is increasingly important.  We’re now completing an update report to the HEC Board regarding status of WSU assessment.  We included the status of colleges as well as the aggregate status o WSU. Individual program level ratings were not included.

The upcoming May report results by program will be made available for public viewing. I am confident when you implement your plan,  your program will demonstrate your program’s and WSU’s commitment to continuous improvement.

Updated OAI web presence

The OAI website is updated along with new landing page for UniversityPortfolio/2009-2010 (the ‘dirdash’ page) that provides summary data from the Dec 18 self-study effort. In addition, preparations are in place for the ‘May Folder’ with materials for writing the May self-study and a more general ‘Resources folder’ for Outcomes Assessment resources not related to writing a particular self-study. Finally, conversations are open with the Provost’s office for revisions to the University’s Accreditation page. Still missing is opening up public access to the root of UniversityPortfolio, with a timeline history of the assessment activities.

Faculty Senate

At Faculty Senate, Thursday, February 18th, concerns were expressed about the assessment initiative.  The concerns largely reflected, we are informed, questions about who was being asked to do this.

On Monday, February 22nd, we have been invited to provide a report.  I have proposed we share the HEC Board report we are preparing this week.

Program Reactions to Self-Study Feedback

Program Reactions to Self-Study Feedback

I met with a program that expressed feeling frustrated and demoralized by the OAI feedback on their self-study.  They wanted to know what the penalties were for programs that didn’t provide assessment self-studies.  They asked that the results be transparent; that there be consequences for non-compliant programs as well as acknowledgement for programs that made the effort.

They pointed out that nothing in the NWCCU standards explicitly required including stakeholders in the assessment process and that while they recognized the value of such inclusion it was not necessarily practicable, especially when they already felt extended beyond their time and budget to fulfill accreditation requirements. We discussed that “stakeholders” was a term that needed to be unpacked, that it tended to bring up images of industry or future employers. However, stakeholders vary widely from discipline to discipline.  But one form of stakeholder that does not change is students and they agreed that students could be given greater agency in the assessment process.

They also felt the push to come up with “data” which they saw as being essentially number driven. We agreed that the term data should be scrapped in favor of the term “evidence” and that the kinds of evidence they chose to include should be in whatever form was most useful for informing them about the gaps in their learning outcomes and provided insight about what changes to make.

In the end the program came to understand that a simple narrative account of their assessment practices, bolstered by relevant evidence placed in the evidence folder and referenced in the narrative would be a much more effective and less onerous approach to fulfilling the self-study requirements.  Much of what the program is currently doing was not being captured in the report due to the misconception that the institution is looking for numerical data as hard evidence.

They agreed to look over the next draft of the Guide to Assessment and provide feedback about its clarity and usefulness.

comment to the original post

Very Productive

Edit
This sounds like a very productive meeting, with a lot of learning for them and for us.  Congratulations!
Yeidel, JoshuaNo presence information at 2/23/2010 1:23 PM