2015 Conference Session List and Abstracts

Assessment Basics Pre Conference, Kim Fath, Elon University and Michael Hadley, Methodist University

This 3-hour workshop is designed to provide an foundation for conducting assessment in academic and administrative programs. The session begins with an overview of assessment vocabulary and characteristics of assessment. Next, assessment plans and outcomes are discussed as a framework for organizing assessment activities in your program, department, or division. The assessment cycle acts as a framework for evaluating and critiquing assessment plans and summary reports. Hands on activities are included to provide practice applying concepts to the practice of assessment.

Participant Outcomes

Upon completion of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Identify different types of assessment
  • Write goal and outcome statements
  • Describe the assessment process
  • Acquire strategies for implementing assessment processes on their home campus

Writing Intended Learning Outcomes for Well-Aligned Courses and Programs Pre Conference, Tom Angelo, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Assessment, evaluation, and accountability in higher education increasingly require is to produce statements of intended learning outcomes (ILOs). ILOs identify what students should demonstrably know and be able to do upon completion of a course or program of study. This interactive workshop provides a simple, practical process for writing clear ILOs to promote learning improvement and to meet accountability requirements. During the workshop, participant will: learn to apply this process; review examples of poor, good, and excellent ILOs; and write or review at least two ILO statements for thier own use in teaching and assessment.\

Participant Outcomes

By tne end of this three-hour workshop, participants will be prepared to:

  • Explain key concepts related to learning outcomes and curriculum design -- such as backward design, constructive alignment, and cognitive load -- to their campus colleagues;
  • Draft  course- and program-level "backward design" curriculum maps;
  • Adapt the process for writing intended learning outcomes (ILOs) presented in the workshop to their own approaches and needs;
  • Write clear and assessable ILO statements for their own courses/programs; and,
  • Identify at least two (2) useful resources and/or references of use in following up.

Concurrent Sessions

An Analysis of 6 Years of Pre and Posttest Results and Challenge Exam Data, Terry House - Methodist University

The Intro to Computer Literacy course at Higher Education Institutions was designed to teach incoming freshman the basics of Microsoft Office software applications and Computer Concepts that are predominantly required by employers in the 21st Century work place. Over the past seven years, the Computer Science Department at Methodist University has collected pre and post data from their Computer Science (CSC) 1000 course. The results of this data has consistently proven that an overwhelming majority of students attending institutions of higher learning do not have the basic computer skills that are required to be successful in the college classroom or in their desired profession after completing their 4 year education. The CSC department has collected at least 6 years of data, which has provided a statistical representation of the level of computer skills acquired by students before entering an institutions of higher learning. The data also identified that theCSC1000 pre and posttest analysis results showed a significant increase of over 40%, in the student’s understanding of computer concepts and their ability to use employment related computer technology. The department has also implemented a new test-out Program for students who wish to challenge the CSC1000 course. These results are included in the paper as well.

Participant Outcomes

  • Audience members will have an opportunity to obtain assessment techniques that are proven to be successful for analyzing their department’s ability to teach the course effectively. This assessment techniques will lead to the department’s ability to archive data and use this assessment information to make specific course changes in the future academic year to improve their student learning outcomes.

Assess This.  Not That!  Giving Feedback to Foster Best Practice in Assessment, Dianne Raubenheimer, Lori Wade Miller and Dilnavaz Mirza Sharma - Meredith College

The Office of Research, Planning and Assessment (RPA) at Meredith College has developed a system to
provide feedback to individual units on program and student learning outcomes, the measures and
benchmarks utilized to assess the outcomes, and on the utilization of assessment data for program
improvement. Our rubric based system of providing annual feedback on all Continuous Improvement
Reports (CIRs) submitted by academic, student support and administrative units, allows us to present
individual units with actionable data to enhance their assessment practices. This high impact practice
also allows the assessment office to monitor the state of assessment in individual programs, at the
departmental and school levels across the institution. Thus, our campus’ annual progress over time is
captured in a global Assessment Score Card. The Assessment Score Card, a quantitative snapshot of the
state of assessment on our campus, is shared with institutional leaders and senior management for
decision making. Along with the qualitative data included in the feedback on CIRs and iterative training
of staff & faculty, the Assessment Score Card helps strengthen assessment practices on campus.

Participant Outcomes

  • Participants will be encouraged to ask questions during the presentation. At the end of the session, participants will be divided into small groups to discuss their assessment challenges, discuss their mechanisms for providing feedback and consider the application of a similar system in the context of their institution.

Assessing Institutional Learning Outcomes:  How to Tie Learning Outcomes to Classroom Assignments, Departmental and Institutional Goals, Anthony Grady and Elroy Bethell - Saint Augustine’s University

The session will focus on the utilization of curricular assessments to
further enhance unit, program and institutional academic goals that lead directly to scholarship
through excellence. The session will illustrate how to enhance learner’s core competencies
through scholarly educational outcomes that promote learner’s professional goals and objectives
and parallel program, departmental and institutional learning outcomes and missions.

Participant Outcomes

Participants will learn the following learning outcomes of the panel discussion:

  • Learn how to identify each learning outcome for a course.
  • For each learning outcome listed indicate the goal(s) with which it is aligned for the Institution, the Division, the Department, the Program, and the Program Track as applicable.
  • Learn how to record outcomes and the ability to list the assessment(s) used to measure the outcome.
  • Learn the ability at the end of each term, to prepare a report that summarizes students’ performance on the learning outcomes assessment(s) used, and
  • Learn how to determine what should be the next course of action taken with respect to the assessment results. Record these decisions as recommendations that should be implemented sometime during the next academic year.

Assessing Librarian-Student Data:  An Evolving Process, Lynne Bisko - Elon University

Beginning In the 2011 fall semester, Elon University’s Carol Grotnes Belk Library implemented a
Personal Librarian Program. The purpose of this ongoing program is to connect first year
students with a librarian, who can help students navigate the resources and services of the
academic library. An assessment component, built into the program from inception, includes
collecting detailed information about every student interaction, as well as demographic
information about the student.

This session will discuss the challenges of and lessons learned in the data collection and
management process, and the tools used to gather and manage the information about the
librarian-student interactions. We will share the evolution of the program assessment,
framework, and the information we track, and discuss how we hope to use the data in the future.
We will also briefly demonstrate the data management system we currently use, a component of
the Springshare suite of web software for libraries, which is used by libraries at 27 of the 36
NCICU institutions.

Participant Outcomes

  • Participants will learn concrete strategies for managing data collected by academic library outreach programs

Collaboration Between Offices:  A Foundation for Shared Learning, Julie Santiago, Kevin Shropshire, and Meg Dutnell - University of Mount Olive

Assessment is a collaborative process that is impossible to be completed by one
person or office. The challenge of collaboration is that there are often fundamental differences in
how each office approaches the assessment process. While these fundamental differences could
act as a roadblock, they should offer opportunities for offices across campus to learn from each
other and build ideas that span across departmental lines. The University of Mount Olive has reexamined
assessment in the area of Student Affairs, with collaboration from the institution’s
assessment office. One product of this collaboration is an end-to-end assessment process that
builds measurable, co-curricular student learning outcomes. A second and equally important
product of the collaboration is the shared learning experience of two offices that approach
assessment in two very different ways but find common ground, leading to a stronger assessment
component while demonstrating compliance with SACS Core Requirement 2.10 and
Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1.2. Accreditation aside, the basic idea is that the methodology and
mutual collaboration founded on a student-centered vision should be sufficient alone to promote
student success.

Participant Outcomes

  • Participants will be introduced to a collaborative approach to assessment
  • Participants will be introduced to one approach that may generate ideas for collaborative efforts on their own campuses

Creating a Map to Chart the Course, Cara McFadden - Elon University

A course map is essential for creating meaning about the important role of curriculum in academia. The map provides a guide to chart the course of action. This session provides an explanation for how to develop a visual tool to represent the intended approach of a course. Another benefit of the map is to form a strategy for assessing student learning outcomes identified in a course. During the session participants will have the opportunity to learn about the challenges faced and the benefits received in the process of course mapping. A recent example will be used as the foundation for the interactive discussion. Strategies for beginning and continuing the mapping process will be addressed.

Participant Outcomes

  • Participants will articulate key components of a course map.
  • Participants will understand the challenges and benefits for developing a course map.
  • Participants will develop strategies for varying course mapping situations that occur during the process.

Designing Meaningful Assessments for a University QEP on Writing Excellence, Paula Rosinski and Kimberly Fath - Elon University

Elon University’s QEP seeks to enhance the teaching and learning of academic, professional, and
co-curricular writing of all students, faculty and staff. In this session, the presenters will first
describe Elon’s QEP on Writing Excellence and the kind of work being done by the multiple
“actors” on campus (academic departments, student affairs, Elon Core Curriculum, and the
Center for Writing Excellence). By design, our QEP requires both programmatic and student
learning assessment at the program, division, and school levels. Currently in the second year of
our QEP’s implementation, the presenters will discuss the kinds of support they offer each of
these “actors” as they design, implement, and interpret their assessment results. In particular,
these speakers will focus on strategies for engaging faculty and staff in meaningful assessment to
improve the teaching and learning of writing. This session is intended for anyone interested in
assessment and improvement of writing and/or managing campus-wide initiatives.

Participant Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Learn strategies for assessing the improvement of student writing in academic and student affairs.
  • Learn strategies for supporting assessment at the program and institutional levels.

Finding Out How Well Students Are Learning What We’re Teaching:  An Introduction to Formative Classroom Assessment, Tom Angelo - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

By participanting actively in this workshop you can expect to accomplish five outcomes. First, you'll find out what Classroom Assessment (CA) is, how it works, and how it can help your students become more independent, effective learners. Second, you'll get hands-on practice useing at least six simple, flexible CA techniques. You can adapt these techniques to assess your students' learning and to help them assess and improve their own learning. Third, you'll learn what experience teachers identify as the pros and cons of this approach and benefit from practical guidelines for success --dos and don'ts-- based on nearly a decade of field testing. Fourth, you'll receive materials and resources for follow-up. And lastly, you'll be prepared to try at least one or two new ideas for assessing -- and improving-- your sutdents' learning.

Implementing and Assessing a Global Awareness Curriculum, Daniel Prosterman - Salem College

In 2009-2010, Salem College undertook a comprehensive revision of its approach to
general education, embedding learning competencies within its undergraduate curriculum that
would be assessed throughout its Salem Signature General Education program courses and in
relevant departmental courses. This presentation will focus on the evolution of Global
Awareness (GA) assessment during the ensuing five years, as the Salem Signature integrated a
GA curriculum within its First-Year Seminar sequence, with improvement in student learning
demonstrated throughout the seminar.
In an attempt to ensure that similar gains are made throughout students’ careers at Salem,
the Signature program is currently planning to transform its GA requirement in 2015-2016 so
that all undergraduates will complete a specific GA course requirement. This change should
improve student learning by expanding course options specifically dedicated to Global
Awareness. Moreover, the transition to a more-encompassing GA requirement should benefit our
assessment protocols in three crucial ways: 1) by increasing the total number of students that are
assessed 2) by increasing the number of times each student is assessed 3) by diversifying the
breadth of courses for which students are assessed.

Participant Outcomes

Participants will better understand how a liberal arts college implemented and assessed a
Global Awareness curriculum in its First-Year Seminar program, established learning
competencies related to Global Awareness, created assessment rubrics based upon these learning
competencies, developed and maintained assessment routines, and recruited and trained faculty
to participate in the First-Year Seminar program and its assessment. For NCICU colleagues at
peer institutions, this presentation will likely address similar contexts regarding how to
successfully develop and properly assess a new curriculum given concerns over staffing,
funding, resources, course requirements, and teaching load.

Role and Strategies for Student Affairs as Essential Partners in Institutional Assessment, Jon Dooley - Elon University

Holistic assessment of institutional outcomes requires partnerships and engagement that transcend the boundary between academic and student affairs.  Effective relationships and strategies at each stage of the assessment cycle serve to integrate student affairs into the overall institutional assessment process.  This session, led by a former director of student affairs assessment, is designed for institutional assessment leaders from both academic and student affairs areas and will describe a framework and structure for an integrated approach to institutional assessment.  The presentation will include multiple, specific examples from effective practice to demonstrate the possibility (and reality) of developing and implementing partnerships and strategies for integrated assessment of institutional outcomes and effectiveness.

Participant Outcomes

Participants will be able to…

  • Articulate strategies that have been effectively utilized by another campus to integrate student affairs assessment with institutional assessment processes
  • Connect successful integrated assessment strategies to an assessment cycle (defining outcomes, designing/implementing delivery methods, gathering data, interpreting evidence, and closing the loop)
  • Integrate examples from another campus to their own campus context
  • Describe the opportunities and challenges with implementing ideas from the session in their own practice