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Effectiveness ASAP (As Simple As Possible) David Eubanks Dir. Planning, Assessment, and Information Services Coker College
Coker College • Hartsville, South Carolina • Independent Liberal Arts college • About 1200 students • Traditional and Non-traditional programs • On and off-campus locations • Reaffirmed 2005
My background • Math PhD from Southern Illinois • Institutional researcher • Institutional effectiveness chair • SACS liaison • Library and IT responsibilities
Being Realistic High Motivation Less Work No Motivation MoreWork Anti-Motivation
Motivation Strategies • Cultivate existing motivation • Create new motivation • Incentives • Punishments • Temporary • May have unpleasant side effects
Making it Easier • Make the project simple to understand • Use familiar language or gently introduce new language • Use electronic systems to minimize effort • Don’t duplicate effort • Use existing information where possible
Case Study: Writing Assessment How can we gather authentic samples?
Situation Student → email → instructor • Emails get lost • Papers vanish after term is over
Solution Student → portfolio → instructor • Dependable repository saves trouble • Papers are saved for later assessment • Adds a new form of communication
Case Study: Documentation Keeping track of documents is time-consuming, so many people don’t bother. This is a problem in creating a compliance certification, for example.
Case Study: Building Plans “Solution”: give staff and faculty the SACS Principles and ask them to make it so!
Section 3.3.1 The institution identifies expected outcomes for its educational programs and its administrative and educational support services; assesses whether it achieves these outcomes; and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of those results.
What does it mean? … provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of those results.
It sounds like: • Set a goal • Measure attainment of the goal and do some analysis • Provide evidence that the goal is now being attained better
The missing links 1. Set a goal. 2. Measure attainment of the goal and do some analysis. * Take actions that may lead to improvement. ** Measure goal attainment again, and compare to the first time you did it. 3. Provide evidence that the goal is now being attained better.
“Ideal” Example 1. Goal: reduce attrition 2. Measurement: currently the 5 yr grad rate is 60% * Take action: raise admission standards ** Measure again: now the 5 yr rate is 62% 3. Evidence: before and after rates constitute evidence of improvement
What’s more important? • Taking informed ACTION? • Practical—we can act • Immediate—we can act NOW • Show evidence of IMPROVEMENT? • May be impractical • Takes time
Standardizing 3.3.1 • General Objective • Outcomes statement • Assessment method • Results and analysis • Actions and improvements Which do people care more about?
Case Study: General Ed How can we increase motivation and decrease new requirements in assessing general education objectives?