Notes from the Event

During the SLS, we introduced a diagram depicting various stages of "scaling up" asessment practices from the course to the program level. Participants were asked to situate their own departments along this continuum before heading into the breakouts. In the breakout sessions, they choose to either (a) engage with our award-winning examples of course-level assessment and brainstorm ways of pushing that work up to the department level, or (b) learn how to fold institutional data into assessment practices as a way of enlisting colleagues into the work and maintaining its momentum over time.

Before our plenary session, participants were asked to contribute insights (in the Zoom chat) about what they would need to advance their department's work to higher areas of the "scaling up" continuum. Many of them mentioned specific ideas they had discussed with our award winners in the breakout sessions. Doug Ward captured the content of these insights in the word cloud below.

Several direct quotes are worth sharing:

  • "Students need a better sense of how the courses they take connect and contribute to broader expectations."
  • "Creating shared space for community and collaboration, and simplying our program's main goals. Creating systems for sharing and reviewing departmental data."
  • "Coordinating assessment of the same learning goals across different courses and instructors."
  • "Connect individual course-level assessment to department or degree-level outcomes."
  • "Build better relationships between assessment of student work and institutional data -- put it together into a coherent story and action plan."
  • "Emphasizing making things 'easy' for faculty so that they will participate necessarily comes with trade-offs regarding the depth of what is provided."

During the plenary session, Holly Storkel introduced the metaphor of a quilt as assessment practice. Lisa McLendon (Journalism) collaborated with Holly after the event on the short slide presentation below that traces the idea of moving from a collection of fabric blocks to a fully-formed quilt with each block connected to the backing material. Click on the link below to view the slides. 



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