Program starts assessment activities for May 17

Program Point writes:

> Hello Nils -just in case you thought we have fallen off the edge of the
> earth ,I thought I would touch base with you to update on the progress we
> are making vis a vis undergraduate assessment. First I apologize for not
> being more proactive, but you have to realize-we are a very small
> department/school, and under VERY much stress trying to juggle all the
> extra requests this semester, without our Director[on sabbatical leave]-
> from the grad school, from this convoluted progress of the  merger with
> [another program] and trying to keep abreast of all the course
> justifications etc etc -and keeping up with research/teaching!!. Having
> said that, we of course recognize the importance of getting this process
> in place for the undergrad assessment.
>   Since to date we have no historical data base,we are actively emplacing
> several – eg Exit interviews, staying in touch with our graduates as
> they join the work force. We have started a data base on their
> acceptance to graduate-level programs [we consider this one of the best
> ‘assessments’ of the success of our training. We are asking all of our
> faculty[ie 8-9 my program, 1-2 sister prgram to submit within their
> Course Syllabus several assessment questions ,specifically pertaining to
> university missions and goals, to be monitored through-out the course.
> We have no official assessment teams in place , but will specifically
> monitor all these data as a faculty in our regular meetings. We are
> looking to enhance the role of our Board of Visitors as the most obvious
> ‘stakeholder’
>  If you have any comments ,suggestions. I would very much appreciate any
> feedback. [ We will try, incidentally to emplace a like system in
> sister program-as the sole tenured faculty has a
> tremendous load]
>        best   ~~

On 3/29/10 10:37 AM,  wrote

Thanks for the reply.

I appreciate that your program is under stress and yet you are attempting to
work on these important issues.

I am available to assist.

For example, I’d like to encourage that you be clear about program goals and
their associated student learning outcomes. You may find the definitions on
the first page of the guide to assessment useful (see attachment in my
previous email).

I think I can get you a couple sample exit surveys. You would want to adapt
them, for among other reasons, because the samples will be aligned with
another program’s learning goals.

An alumni survey is another good indirect measure. I have sample surveys
that you could align with your program’s goals.

I’ve talked with your assistant Dean about her program, where she is
exploring gathering assessments from admissions officers (taking it a step
more than just acceptance rate, which could be influenced by all kinds of
factors having nothing to do with quality.) You might want to chat with her,
or I could help.

Looking at syllabi is great, especially asking to what extent are they
communicating program learning outcomes. We’ve also done work with programs wanting to assess a key assignment in a course — to what extent is the assignment prompting students to demonstrate the program’s learning

The above are great indicators, that can triangulate if you coordinate them,
but none is a direct measure of a specific skill. Is there a capstone course
that has a project where student work could be assessed with a program

This is a long list. You don’t need to undertake it all at once. Part of
your plan may be to develop a schedule of when you collect what kinds of
data. Eg, course evals, each semester; exit interview in May; alumni survey
every other Fall; syllabus review as part of your program’s 5-year
professional review, etc. We know you need to make the work level
manageable. I would encourage that part of what you submit is a plan and
schedule — even if means your data is more of a pilot nature.

I’m happy to come over and talk


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