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The Periodic Review Report and the Assessment of Institutional Effectiveness. Presentation by: Karen Froslid Jones and Robin Beads, American University (AU). Our goal is to provide an instiututional perspective that helps you to:

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the periodic review report and the assessment of institutional effectiveness

The Periodic Review Report and the Assessment of Institutional Effectiveness

Presentation by:

Karen Froslid Jones and Robin Beads, American University (AU)

today s presentation

Our goal is to provide an instiututional perspective that helps you to:

  • Gain insight into Middle States expectations regarding institutional assessment;
  • Know what to develop/look for in the PRR to demonstrate that the institution meets these expectations; and
  • Nuts and bolts: Develop an effective report by offering specific tips for achieving success.
Today’s Presentation
the prr and institutional effectiveness 5 of 6

Demonstrate that the institution has:

  • organized and sustained assessment processes
  • clearly articulated institutional and unit-level goals
    • Learning outcomes at course, program and institution level
  • Implimented strategies to achieve those goals
  • Used the results of assessments to:
    • Improve programs, services, teaching, and learning
    • Inform planning
    • Inform resource allocation
The PRR and Institutional Effectiveness (#5 of 6]
perhaps 5 years ago

Processes: May or May Not be Well Documented

Buy-in for value of assessment may have been a “work in progress”

Assessment plans just in the first stages of implementation.

Structures to ensure success may or may not be in place.

Perhaps 5 years ago…?

Processes AND results are well documented.

Buy-in is evident.

Structures to ensure success are in place.

Evidence of implementation and use.

what is a culture of assessment

When it is embedded effectively within larger institutional systems, assessment can help us focus our collective attention, examine our assumptions, and create a shared… culture dedicated to assuring and improving…quality…

    • Based on Thomas Angelo, 2005
  • “An organizational environment in which decisions are based on facts, research, and analysis and where services are planned and delivered in ways that maximize positive outcomes and impacts for customers and stakeholders”
    • Ndoye and Parker (2010) quoting Lakos, Phipps and Wilson(2004)
What is a culture of assessment?

Highlight the ways that assessment is valued.

    • What recognition or rewards have been put in place?
    • What evidence is there of faculty, leadership, and institutional “buy in” ?
  • Demonstrate that efforts have gone into making assessments do-able, useful
    • “Useful” and “Cost effective”
  • Show evidence that assessment results – both positive and negative – are welcomed.
      • “Reasonably accurate and truthful”
  • Demonstrate how assessment is used and imbedded into the fabric of the institution.

Demonstrate that the institution has:

  • Organized, sustained processes for assessment (including use of results);
  • Guidelines, policies, resources, coordination, and support of assessment; and
  • Communication strategies.

The value of a written or on-line assessment plan.


Document progress in:

    • Development of learning outcomes;
    • Improvement/refinement of assessment strategies;
    • Implementation of assessment plans; and
    • Use of results to improve student learning and advance the institution.
  • Can you describe and document how your assessment processes have improved?
  • Give sense of institution’s next steps.

Provide evidence that assessment is used and useful:

    • For planning;
    • For improvement;
  • Provide evidence that changes at the institution are based on evidence, facts.
  • Link assessments to institutional goals and objectives (including learning outcomes).
the nuts and bolts six suggestions to help organize for success

Organization of PRR Process

  • Think Broadly: Collect broad array of examples of assessment.
  • Highlight uses of assessment.
  • Emphasize the link to planning
  • Presenting Assessment Results
  • Website Communications
The Nuts and Bolts: Six suggestions to help organize for success.
2 think broadly

Look for institutional changes/improvements using annual reports, communications to community, and other sources.

  • Identify the successful assessments that advanced the changes.
  • Use “challenges” and negative situations to highlight your assessment processes and commitment to institutional improvement.
  • Use benchark data, as appropriate.
2.Think Broadly
2 think broadly cont
Survey academic & administrative units to inventory current assessment activities:

Inventory areas where learning outcomes have been – or should be - developed.

Inventory on-going and one time activities for documentation in PRR

Gather examples of how assessments have been used in planning and decisionmaking.

Document how assessments have been used to advance goals and improve programs/services.

2. Think Broadly (cont.)
3 highlight uses of assessment
Demonstrate how curriculum changed as a result of assessment.

Identify improvements or changes that have advanced the institution mission.

Highlight how recommendations in the Self-Study have been implemented

3. Highlight Uses of Assessment
4 emphasize the link to planning

American University Strategic Plan

  • Created an inclusive process for input endorsed by top administration and faculty; communicated through website and addresses to campus
  • Assessment data was made available to community during the planning process via the website.
  • Made sure that assessment of student learning was highlighted in strategic plan.
  • Identified mechanisms to assess the plan and track the recommended actions.
  • Linked unit level plans to strategic plans and highlighted assessment of learning outcomes
  • Linked Strategic Plan initiatives to budget
4. Emphasize the Link to Planning
4 emphasize the link to planning1

AU’s formation of Strategic Plan Measurements Project Team

    • Review/refine measures
    • Determine how to track progress and report
    • Determine/assign responsibility for updating data/information
    • Record results/outcomes of activities
  • Consider using software
4. Emphasize the link to planning
5 presenting assessment results

Use of sidebars/text boxes to highlight examples of assessment activities, use of assessment, important points.

  • Inventory your institutional assessment tools and map them to Middle States standards in chart format
  • Emphasize exemplars of institutional/ student learning assessments
  • Quantify changes/improvements made as a result of assessment
  • Include links to data/assessment results embedded within the text (web or pdf)
5. Presenting Assessment Results
5 presenting assessment results1


  • Highlight funding of strategic plan and other goals
  • Provide appendix with links to supplemental docs
  • Quote admin/faculty/students to help demonstrate your culture of assessment

“Assessment, and the invaluable feedback it provides, informs us of areas in need of

improvement thereby strengthening our curricula. To that end, the Office of the Provost will

make every effort to support faculty as they assess courses and programs and implement

strategies toward curricular enhancement.” - Dr. Scott A. Bass, Provost

5. Presenting Assessment Results
6 website communications

Create a website to include PRR guidelines, supporting documents, the final report.

  • Organize supporting documentation by chapter so that reviewers can find information quickly and easily.
  • Be selective, but thorough in what you decide to include as supporting documentation.
  • Determine public versus private web-based supporting documentation
    • Password protect proprietary web-based documentation/data for your university community
    • Work with appropriate units on your campus to obtain temporary log-ins and passwords for the PRR reviewers
6. Website Communications
wrap up questions

For more information:

American University’s Middle States and PRR website

Karen Froslid Jones: [email protected]

Robin Beads: [email protected]

Wrap Up – Questions?