A proposal to get external review/ test of rubric

A proposal to get external review/ test of rubric I sent this to a program contact in early April to help with the problem that the program was unwilling/unable to devote resources to testing their rubric against a small collection of student theses.

No reply in 2 weeks.


I just came across this resource. It looks like they will do a free demo. Are you interested in seeing if they can apply your rubric effectively? I’d suggest we send one paper and the rubric as an experiment.


Draft note to Deans/Chairs to Come From Provost

Draft note to Deans/Chairs


Here’s our first draft.  With your modifications, I hope we can entice a few hold outs to join in the fun.

Deans and Chairs

WSU is preparing its response to NWCCU’s Final Report. As part of that effort, the Office of Assessment and Innovation is working with all undergraduate programs to collect self-studies on program-level assessment activities. OAI has provided feedback to programs who submitted draft self-studies in December, and my office also used that preliminary information as part of a report to the HEC Board in March.

I am reminding you of OAI’s deadline of May 17 for a revised self-study, including the Action Plan and Evidence section which was not required last December. I am asking you to ensure that your program provides a self-study in May, using guidelines found on the OAI.wsu.edu website, or that your program is in contact with OAI to make other arrangements.

Timely delivery of self-studies will help OAI by allowing the time necessary to review and compile data from all programs for the report that WSU must provide to NWCCU in the Fall of 2010. My office is also working with OAI to develop a mechanism where the information you provide in these self-studies can be used to also meet many of the requirements of the HEC Board’s Annual Program Review. OAI, Institutional Research and my office are working to streamline as much of this reporting as possible.

College Liaisons, Program Points and OAI Contacts can all be found here https://universityportfolio.wsu.edu/2009-2010/Lists/Programs/All.aspx

NWCCU’s Final Report can be found on the Accreditation.wsu.edu website.


Questions about "Outcomes-based" learning

Questions about “Outcomes-based” learning A comment in a forum on revising WSU’s General Education Program gives more context for challenges of our assessment work…

“My primary concern rests with the heavy emphasis on “outcomes based” learning.  First, I find it difficult to imagine teaching to outcomes as separate from teaching my content — I do not consider “content” and “outcomes” as discrete entities; rather, they overlap.  This overlap may partly be the reason for the thin and somewhat unconvincing literature on “outcomes based learning.” I would therefore like to see in this process a thorough and detailed analysis of the literature on “outcomes” vs content-based learning, followed by thoughtful discussion as to whether the need to focus our energies in a different direction is in fact warranted (and for what reasons).  Also, perhaps that same literature can provide guidance on how to create an outcomes driven learning environment while maintaining the spirit of the academic (as opposed to technocratically-oriented) enterprise.”

Changing my user name

I’m learning a new thing about my iPad — I knew it about my iPhone, but now it’s becoming really significant. Its my username with an underscore and the way I use special characters in some of my passwords . I’ve been thinking about switching my identity to my Gmail and away from my WSU one, and now I’m going to start. This is going to be a big annoyance, but I think it will make the iPad more useful.

Quote From the Open Forum of General Education

Q:           Why focus on learning goals?  What is the empirical evidence that universities that focus on learning outcomes vs. those that have more traditional distributional/content-based requirements actually produce better/more successful graduates?  Isn’t it just a fad?

Awards Ceremony 3/13- we will be recognizing exceptional leadership in college and program level assessment

From: Ater-Kranov, Ashley
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2010 1:55 PM
To: OAI.Personnel
Subject: Awards Ceremony 3/13- we will be recognizing exceptional leadership in college and program level assessment

Please see the attached invitation. The awards list is below.

Office of Assessment & Innovation
Berat Hakan Gurocak
Assessment Leadership for Mechanical Engineering WSU Vancouver
Office of Assessment & Innovation
Douglas Jasmer
Assessment Leadership for the Veterinary Medicine Program
Office of Assessment & Innovation
Roberta Kelly
Assessment Leadership for the Murrow College of Communication
Office of Assessment & Innovation
Kimberlee Kidwell
Assessment Leadership for the Agricultural and Food Sciences Program
Office of Assessment & Innovation
Kimberlee Kidwell
Assessment Leadership for the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources
Office of Assessment & Innovation
Kimberlee Kidwell
Assessment Leadership for the Integrated Plant Sciences Program
Office of Assessment & Innovation
Lisa McIntyre
Assessment Leadership for the Department of Sociology
Office of Assessment & Innovation
John Turpin
Assessment Leadership for the Department of Interior Design at WSU Spokane
Office of Assessment & Innovation
Phillip Waite
Assessment Leadership for the Department of Landscape Architecture
Office of Assessment & Innovation
Libby Walker
Assessment Leadership for the Honors College

An Invitation to the University College Awards Ceremony
Further information about these awards appeared in these blog posts:

Re-thinking Course Evals for Prog Eval purposes / Turmoil in Colleges

Re-thinking Course Evals for Prog Eval purposes / Turmoil in Colleges A conversation on the bus home from work with a College Liaison led to this exchange

On 4/6/10 9:18 AM, “Nils Peterson” wrote:
Further to our conversation on the bus. Collecting actionable data, and acting on it, are the things that we believe are likely to engage students and therefore to increase response rates on course evals. How about we get together and talk about some ways to re-think the course eval process. I’m looking for a partner that is in a position to take a bit of an adventurous view of the topic.

(I want to see if this Liaison would venture into something like paired assessment where faculty declare their goals for the course and students say what they perceived happened. We’d get curricular maps, which could then be used by the program to help students navigate course selection.)

Liaison replies:
I will be interested in doing this.  However, let’s put off the conversation for several weeks.  Amongst other things, I still do not know where I am going to land beginning July 1.  That is to say, I do not know what my position will be and in what college.

Lake Wobegone University: All teachers above average

WSU teaching and courses are all above average! I got into a conversation on the bus with a faculty member in Economics about assessment of teaching and learning.

In Fall 2009, as in many semesters past, the College of Ag, Human and Natural Resource sciences asked two questions at the end of its course evaluations. Here is the data on 282 courses with 5756 student ratings spread among them:

What is your overall rating of the instructor in this course?
What is your overall rating of this course?
With possible responses: Outstanding, Above Average, Average, Below Average, Poor

Comment below on the quality of these questions, or on the meaning and utility of this data.

Why Public Reporting

One faculty member responds to OAI assessment plan feedback:

“Oh -kiss my #$$, I have been here long enough to know that THAT thing
will be flushed down the toilet.”