Assessment methods workshops set for January, February

The Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness teamed up with Shawna Young, director of assessment and marketing in the Division of Student Affairs, earlier this year to evaluate and provide feedback on the quality of annual institutional effectiveness reports for all educational degree programs and all administrative and student support services units on campus. The effort marked the first time that such campuswide feedback has been solicited at WCU.

The results indicated the two areas in most need of support are outcomes statements and aligned assessment methods, said Steve Wallace, director of assessment. To provide support in those areas, OIPE and the Coulter Faculty Commons have developed a series of professional development workshops aimed at increasing the quality of educational program assessment systems. The Institutional Effectiveness Council is developing workshops for student support and administrative units.

Four workshops were held last month on campus that focused on program-level student learning outcomes. In January and February, members of the campus community can ramp up their assessment of educational program outcomes by registering for one of four program assessment methods workshops at this website.

These 90-minute professional development workshops are designed for those who assess student learning outcomes or who will be managing and coordinating the assessment process, Wallace said.

“By the end of the workshop, participants will be ready to communicate and apply basic tenets in the design, selection and carrying out of assessment methods,” he said. “Doing so will provide meaningful information, allowing one to make sound judgments about the extent to which students are achieving program-level student learning outcomes.”

Key topics include the trustworthiness of data and sound data collection methodology. The workshops are designed for the beginning and developing levels or for those who want to better understand WCU’s focus on program assessment.

Four workshops dates are available. All will be held in Room 186 of Hunter Library.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 (2:30-4 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 (2:30-4 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 (2:30-4 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 (2:30-4 p.m.)

To make the most of these workshops, participants are asked to bring the following items to the sessions:

  • An existing program-level assessment (course-embedded test/scoring key, assignment/scoring key, and/or assignment/rubric are most useful, Wallace said).
  • All program-level student learning outcomes for an educational program (certificate, standalone minor or degree program).
  • Program curriculum map (aligning all student learning outcomes with the scope and sequence of courses students will take).
  • Program assessment plan (three- to five-year plan).
  • OIPE assessment report feedback (distributed in early October).
  • Laptop to revise assessment methods.

Participants who register only to find later that they are unable to attend should notify Wallace at srwallace@wcu.edu as soon as possible, as space is limited and there may be a waiting list.

For additional information, visit the websites of the Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness and Coulter Faculty Commons.