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Strategies from the Assessment Trenches: A Self-Help Clinic presented by AURA. Topics & Format . Topics Program Mission, Goals & SLO Statements Course Alignment Matrix Developing & Implementing an Assessment Plan Format We introduce the topic. Groups discuss progress & problems.

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Strategies from the assessment trenches a self help clinic presented by aura l.jpg
Strategies from the Assessment Trenches: A Self-Help Clinicpresented by AURA

2005 CELT Conference


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Topics & Format

  • Topics

  • Program Mission, Goals & SLO Statements

  • Course Alignment Matrix

  • Developing & Implementing an Assessment Plan

  • Format

  • We introduce the topic.

  • Groups discuss progress & problems.

  • Debrief & share strategies.

2005 CELT Conference


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Your Program Mission, Goals & Student Learning Outcome Statements

Mission: a holistic view of the values and philosophy of the department/program

Goals: general statements about knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values expected of graduates

SLOs: clear, concise statements that describe how students can demonstrate their mastery of program goals

Courtesy of Dr. Mary Allen

2005 CELT Conference


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Group Assignment - SLOs Statements

  • Share your program’s SLOs.

  • What challenges did you face in crafting your SLOs?

  • How did you overcome the challenges? What lingering concerns remain?

  • Prepare to report on a few key ideas, problems, or strategies.

2005 CELT Conference


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The Outcomes/Course Alignment Matrix Statements

Stage 1 – Ensuring a Cohesive Curriculum

In which courses are which outcomes introduced, practiced, mastered?

Stage 2 – Developing an Assessment Plan

What student artifacts can be used to measure progress?

2005 CELT Conference


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Group Assignment – The Matrix Statements

  • Create a draft of your program’s Outcomes/Course Alignment Matrix.

  • If your program has a (draft) matrix, share it.

  • Prepare to report on a few key ideas, problems, or strategies.

2005 CELT Conference


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Developing/Implementing an Assessment Plan Statements

An assessment plan should be meaningful, manageable, and sustainable.

For each SLO, ask:

  • How and where will the SLO be assessed?

  • How will you collect, organize, and analyze the data?

  • When and how often will this be done? By whom?

  • Who will reflect on the results?

  • What will ensure that results are used to implement program changes to improve student learning?

2005 CELT Conference


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Elements of An Effective Assessment Plan Statements

What are the building blocks needed ?

  • Program Mission

  • Goals

  • Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

  • Course Alignment Matrices

  • Plan to Assess Individual SLOs … such as …

2005 CELT Conference


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Assessment of SLOs Statements

  • Direct Assessment Methods:

    • Published Tests

    • Local Exams

    • Embedded Assignments & Activities

    • Portfolios

  • Indirect Assessment Methods:

    • Surveys

    • Interviews

    • Focus Groups

2005 CELT Conference


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Assessment of SLOs Statements

  • Direct Assessment Methods are Essential:

    • Examine Student Work …

  • Indirect Assessment Methods are Supportive:

    • Examine Student / Alumni Perceptions …

  • Effective Assessment Programs Use Multiple Measures … Triangulate

2005 CELT Conference


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Measurement Using Rubrics Statements

  • What is a rubric?

    • “Explicit schemes for classifying products or behaviors into categories that vary along a continuum” Mary Allen, WACS/AAHE workshop, Sept. 2004

    • Holistic (along one dimension)

    • Analytic = traits or characteristics of the product or behavior

    • Similar to grading criteria sheets that some faculty use

2005 CELT Conference


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Example Writing Rubric (Partial) Statements

2005 CELT Conference


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Example of Rubric: Statements SLO: IT Proficiency

2005 CELT Conference


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Steps To Develop a Rubric Statements

  • Define the SLO and pick the work sample

  • Involve the potential evaluators, faculty who assign the student work, external stakeholders, (if possible)

  • Brainstorm the traits or characteristics of the goal that you want to measure

    • Specific traits lead to actionable results

  • Determine the number of discrete categories that you want to have (generally 3-6)

  • Brainstorm the descriptions of each category for each trait

  • Refine the traits/descriptions avoid “and” clauses

2005 CELT Conference


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The Next Steps Statements

To collect, organize, and analyze the data …

  • When and how often will this be done?

  • By whom?

  • Who will reflect on the results?

  • How will they measure success?

  • What will ensure that results are used to implement program changes to improve student learning?

2005 CELT Conference


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A Caution: Statements

Assessment Plans in Early Stages are Good at Collecting Data … but Lack a Plan for How to:

  • Organize, Summarize the Data

  • Systematically Reflect on Results

  • Ensure that Results are used to Effect Change and Improve Student Learning

  • Effective Assessment Programs are Both Manageable and Sustainable

2005 CELT Conference


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Evaluation and Use of Data for Continuous Improvement Statements

  • Assessment Data Must be Evaluated Systematically, Periodically

    • Recommend Annual Collection / Assessment / Action Plan

  • Modify Curriculum and Pedagogy to Improve Student Learning …

    • Typical Actions:

      • Modify Content, Sequencing of Course(s)

      • Modify Pedagogical Approaches

2005 CELT Conference


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Evaluation and Use of Data for Continuous Improvement Statements

  • The Entire Process (Goals, Outcomes, Assessment Measures) Must be Evaluated Periodically

    • Recommend Five Year Re-evaluation to synchronize with FYR process:

      • Are we measuring reasonable work samples?

      • Is our process meaningful? Are we better informed about what our students are learning or not?

      • Is our process sustainable? Can we be more efficient and still have valid measures?

2005 CELT Conference


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The Assessment Plan Design Process Statements

  • Wherever you begin developing your Assessment Program will NOT be the ideal place to start …

  • You Must Begin Somewhere …

  • Iteration will save you ...

    • Continuous Refinement of Methods

    • Consensus and Team Building

    • Alignment of Program Resources with Program Goals and Faculty Values …

2005 CELT Conference


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Group Assignment – Assessment Planning Statements

  • Share your program’s SLO assessment plan:

    • What SLO(s) do you plan to assess this year?

    • How do you plan to assess it?

    • What is the biggest hurdle you face in the assessment process?

  • Prepare to report on a few key ideas, problems, or strategies.

2005 CELT Conference


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AURA’s Advice Statements

  • Don’t get trapped in a quest for the perfect assessment plan. Try something!

  • Do involve the faculty.

  • Don’t forget to use your results.

  • Do plan to repeat the process.

  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

  • KISS

2005 CELT Conference


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