Example of Good Assessment Practice: Juniata College
"We collect data and want to ensure it is not just getting shelved but getting put out there, that we are getting key people into the room to determine what data we need to gather and what we will use it for."
--Director of Institutional Planning and Research
Faculty Led Assessment
Juniata College was identified as an example of good assessment practice for the faculty-led Center for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL Center) that champions and supports evidence-based teaching; an administration-supported accountability website that provides data and information about outcomes to multiple audiences; and the use of evidence of student learning to make improvements at the institution and individual course levels.
Link to the full report here.
Lessons from Juniata College
1. Emphasize that assessment is a kind of scholarly inquiry as featured in the literature on the scholarship of teaching and learning. Faculty have been trained in research and scholarship, but not necessarily in teaching. Focusing on their interests and questions within their courses may help achieve faculty buy-in for assessment. For additional information on faculty and assessment, see Pat Hutchings' NILOA Occasional Paper.
2. Support from the administration is vital to encouraging and supporting student learning outcomes assessment. The support can take the form of meals, course release, space, and encouragement.
3. Connect assessment activities in other efforts already underway on campus, such as program review.
4. Involve many around campus in conversations about assessment activities and the results, including faculty, administrators and students.
5. Understand that it takes time for thoughtful analysis of assessment information and the improvements that evolve from the actionable items created after the analysis.