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Creating a S.I.M.P.L.E. & Comprehensive Assessment Plan for Residence Life and Housing. Dr. Mike Fulford Emory University Student Affairs Assessment Conference October 11-12, 2010. Why do we need an assessment plan?. Scarcity of resources

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creating a s i m p l e comprehensive assessment plan for residence life and housing

Creating a S.I.M.P.L.E. & Comprehensive Assessment Plan for Residence Life and Housing

Dr. Mike Fulford

Emory University

Student Affairs Assessment Conference

October 11-12, 2010

why do we need an assessment plan
Why do we need an assessment plan?
  • Scarcity of resources
  • Need to know that resources are effectively impacting students, staff, facilities, and customers
  • Helps professionals tap into the power of evidence based decision making
  • Provides a mechanism for supervising staff
what is assessment
What is Assessment?
  • According the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS):

Accreditation by the Commission on Colleges signifies that the institution (1) has a mission appropriate to higher education, (2) has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission, and (3) maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers, and. . .

that indicate whether it is successful in achieving its stated objectives. (Principles of Accreditation, 2008)

  • The systematic process of determining educational objectives, gathering, using, and analyzing information about student learning outcomes to make decisions about programs, individual student progress, or accountability (Erwin, T.D. (1991). Assessing student learning and development )
evidence based decision making
Evidence Based Decision Making
  • An evidence based decision process consists of several logical steps that help shape your thinking, information gathering, analysis and course of action. (The Lewis Group, 2004)
  • Utilize quantifiable data to determine the direction of your program using anecdotal information as a complement
what a comprehensive assessment plan can do for your organization
What a Comprehensive Assessment Plan can do for your Organization?
  • Turn everyone’s heads in a direction
  • Identify issues to your major decision makers for future changes and initiatives
  • Lay a foundation for your program
  • Help you attain funding through internal or external sources
  • Help you stop doing things that are costly, but ineffective
  • Examples?
the s i m p l e part
The S.I.M.P.L.E. Part
  • Start with a picture of where you want to be
  • Identify the learning outcomes for your organization’s initiatives
  • Make sure they are measurable outcomes (how will you know it’s effective)
  • Plan your initiatives for the year and build in your methods of measurement
  • Live the plan
  • Evaluate your initiatives and use the evidence to make better decisions
s tart with a picture of where you want to be
Start with a picture of where you want to be?
  • What will your organization and the students you impact look like at the end of your determined cycle (1 year, 5 years, 10 years)
  • Think of some specific images that bring definition to your vision of the future (i.e. residents feel like they are part of a community)
  • Incorporate visions that you have control over and also include things that may be a stretch for your department or staff
i dentify the learning outcomes for your organization s initiatives
Identify the Learning Outcomes for Your Organization’s Initiatives
  • Outcomes in its simplest form are the results of your assessment. These are the things that make up the details of your picture of the future
  • They are your “expected impact”
  • They can be process oriented (i.e.- completed the renovation of a new learning center)
  • They can be knowledge or skill based (i.e.- students will understand the importance of networking with other students)
m ake sure they are measurable outcomes
Make Sure They are Measurable Outcomes
  • How will you know your initiatives are effective?
  • Your outcomes need to be something you can measure (i.e.- Yes or No, benchmarks, % changes, defined increase or decrease)
  • You need to be able to easily define this measurement tool (i.e.- survey, database information, budget information, etc.)
  • For example, can you really measure “Improve collaboration between department A & department B?”
p lan your initiatives for the year include methods of measurement
Plan your Initiatives for the Year & include Methods of Measurement
  • This is what we do well- we like to plan new things
  • This is what we don’t do well- evaluate all the new things to see if they are effective
  • Your initiatives are developed from your outcomes/expected impact
  • When you initially plan them, go ahead and write the outcomes down as a guide and use them to create an evaluation or measurement tool
l ive the plan
Live the Plan
  • This is the hardest part of any assessment plan
  • First, make a list of all your meetings
  • Second, can you incorporate a discussion about these initiatives and plans into any or all of these meetings?
  • Ideas- use one on one meetings and let the plan drive those meetings
  • Set up a regular planning meeting (monthly or bi-weekly) that is for discussion of long term goals and outcomes– not an information meeting
  • Overdo it in the beginning- this helps get the machine running and allows you opportunities for slowdown during the year
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy- determine what level you want them engaged in your expected learning/process outcomes
e valuate your initiatives and use the evidence to make better decisions
Evaluate your Initiatives and use the Evidence to Make Better Decisions
  • Identify points of contact where you can collect data (quantitative or qualitative)
  • Identify times when you want to collect data
  • Make evaluations something you can realistically compile
  • Use a program like SPSS to produce simple statistics and charts
  • Use a planning retreat early in the summer to review the previous year’s data and USE THE DATA to make decisions about future planning
language of outcomes
Language of Outcomes

action steps

strategies

outcomes

inputs

goals

mission

breaking it down
Breaking It Down

Mission- What do want to become?

Goals- What is your defined end point?

Inputs- What resources will you use?

Outcomes- What will be your result and what will it look like?

Strategy- What are your methods of achieving your outcomes?

Action Steps- Implementation of Strategy

additional points to consider
Additional Points to Consider
  • Be realistic and prioritize goals for the next year
  • Identify all the access points where you can collect data
  • Who are important people to make the plan happen?
  • Incorporate the assessment plan into your regular operations
  • Create points in the year where you evaluate progress (winter meeting, monthly progress reports)
  • Celebrate your hard work and publish your results (yes, publish)
questions follow up
Questions & Follow-Up

Any Questions?

Please contact us with your questions so we can keep up with your progress and help you as you get your plan started.

Mike Fulford, mike.fulford@housing.gatech.edu