Developing Assessment and Evaluation Services at an Institution of Higher Education Steven Culver, Associate Director Ray Van Dyke, Executive Director David Kniola, Assistant Director ECER 2013 Istanbul
Case study of one institution • A process not an event. • What worked well? • What did not work well? • What we have no idea about?
Institutional Context • Located in Virginia, southwest of Washington, DC about 5 hours driving time • Public, land-grant institution founded in 1872 • 215 undergraduate and graduate degree programs (large engineering & business programs) • More than 31,000 students • International sites in Switzerland, India, Egypt, and Dominican Republic
Growth of the office • 2006 – Office of Academic Assessment • One graduate student • No university-wide systematic evaluation occurring on program level • Only year-end reporting (filling in boxes) • 2013 – Office of Assessment and Evaluation • 6 professionals; 6 graduate students • University wide evaluation – all degree programs • Evaluation of administrative areas • Grant-related evaluations
Step 1 – Clarify a philosophy • Why are we doing this? • What exactly are we doing? • What benefit to us is there in doing it?
Accountability vs. improvement • Assessment and evaluation historically used for accountability (summative evaluation) or improvement (formative evaluation) • In higher education, accountability is the most common approach • We emphasized as much as possible the improvement approach
Education in the development of culture • All members of the university community involved • Need to be educated • What is assessment? • How does one do assessment? • How does one interpret the results of assessment? • What do you do once you have results?
Areas of involvement • Student learning outcomes • Academic Quality and Improvement • Administrative Quality and Improvement • Evaluation and Research • Leadership and Outreach in the Academy
Student Learning Outcomes • Guide and support faculty toward learner-centered assessment • Facilitate articulation of measurable student learning outcomes • Collaborate toward the enhancement of course-embedded assessment • Provide leadership on development of assessment processes
Academic Quality & Improvement • Support faculty-driven assessment of indicators of academic program quality • Encourage experimentation and innovation • Provide resources to program directors and faculty • Implement a process • Demonstrate university-wide continuous improvement
Administrative Quality & Improvement • Systematically improve quality of administrative and educational support organizations • Establish critical outcomes, gauge level of accomplishment • Guide meaningful continuous improvement
Evaluation and Research • Promote use of evaluation by stakeholders and strengthen organizational capacity for quality evaluation research • Provide methodological consultation and technical support • Demonstrate best practices in evaluation research • Participate in dissemination of evaluation findings
Leadership and Outreachin the Academy • Promote use of evaluation by stakeholders and strengthen organizational capacity for quality evaluation research • Provide methodological consultation and technical support • Demonstrate best practices in evaluation research • Participate in dissemination of evaluation findings