Going forward, College initiatives and projects will require participants to create and implement assessment plans, protocols for collecting and analyzing data and for reporting results. Because each project is different, each assessment plan will be different.
Consequently, the Outcomes Assessment Committee is asking those involved in College projects and initiatives to complete a Project Assessment Plan, which will be reviewed by the Committee and the Institutional Research Board, which may approve or ask for alterations to the plan. The form may be downloaded here: Project Assessment Plan
The following materials may be useful to those tasked with development of a Project Assessment Plan.
Clarify your goals and describe what you hope to accomplish
Educational assessment usually involves measuring the actual outcomes of a project with its intended outcomes. So the best place to begin is to clearly articulate what the goals of the project are and to restate these goals as objectives that can be measured.
Develop strategies for measuring outcomes or progress toward goals
Think about what evidence would demonstrate success.Think in terms of both short-term and long-term outcomes. What indicators would demonstrate that your project is succeeding?
Identify data that you can use or will need to gather
Take advantage of any data collection mechanisms already in place – for example, talk to Institutional Research about any data they might already gather which would shed light on your project’s outcomes, or consider adding a few custom questions to the end of the standard course evaluation form.
Analyze your data
OAC, the Lash CTL, and Institutional Research can assist in reviewing your assessment data collection and analysis plans, and assist in identifying helpful resources, such as student worker assistance, software tools, etc.
Report your results
Be sure to report to all sponsors and program stakeholders in a timely fashion. And consider the advice of Trudy Bers and Jeffrey Seybert in their guide, Effective Reporting published by the Association for Institutional Research: “Brief reports, especially those that contain bulleted points, questions and answers rather than didactic presentations, and clear headings and subheadings to guide the reader, garner more attention and generate more conversation than long, formal reports of many pages.”
Close the loop
In addition to reporting your findings, you need to “close the loop,” perhaps the most important step in the cycle of learning assessment. It is the process through which evidence is used to gauge the efficacy of an initiative. Responses can range from curricular change or pedagogical change to new faculty/staff development or student learning activities.