Assessment Strategy Plan

2001 - 2002


Action Item #1: Strengthen department program review process to emphasize assessment as a way of documenting improved student learning consistent with the principles of the learning college.

First Year Report

  • Expand the leadership of the vice president for instruction and deans for enhancing assessment at the department and division levels
  • Add to the process a meeting between the vice president for instruction and each department under review. This meeting replaces the meeting the vice president previously held with the chairs of all departments within a division under review
  • Add to the data reported by IPR to departments (1) information on students and faculty/staff diversity and (2) data describing the ratio of student credit hours taught by full-time vs. part-time faculty members
  • Review the department mission model structure in conjunction with the Program Learning Outcomes Assessment process
  • Revise assessment and reporting structures to include a focus on how departments improve and expand learning and how they verify these changes in learning

Action Item #2: Begin discussion of how to address the Top 45.

First Year Report

  • Identify the factors that contribute to non-success
  • Determine whether grade is reflective of learning or other course requirements (attendance, etc)
  • Share findings clearly with deans/chairs/faculty/IPR/students
  • Select limited number of courses as focus for further research and remedy
  • Identify possible connections with Learning Challenge grant process
  • Review master syllabi for course objectives/assessment methods
  • Conduct student interviews as evaluation component to Learning Challenge Grants to determine what is working/what is not
  • Conduct instructor interviews to determine areas of poor student performance
  • Determine mix of Top 45; are there new courses in the mix? Why?
  • Create expectation and understanding of assessment across campus to include students, faculty, staff, and administration.

Action Item #3: Review current data collection to determine its use in assessment.

First Year Report

  • Determine data needs in light of NCA
  • Determine data needs in light of institutional need to measure learning & Gov's Performance Report
  • Evaluate current assessment practices on following levels:
    • Institutional
    • Program level
    • Course Level
    • Faculty
  • Look for opportunities to standardize some assessment criteria across programs/courses
  • Look for opportunities to benchmark with other institutions
  • Evaluate data results and facilitate communication of these results. Recommend change.
  • Have departments address recommended changes as part of program review

Action Item #4: Orient students, faculty, staff, and administration to assessment and its linkages to Learning College principles.

First Year Report

  • Note to chairs and Deans regarding the centrality of assessment to learning college principles
  • Reminder letter to all faculty applying for tenure or promotion of responsibility/opportunity to use assessment and available support
  • New faculty orientation
  • 2nd year faculty orientation/training (offer follow-up training in year 2)
  • Develop a marketing brochure to educate full and part-time faculty regarding the centrality of assessment to their role
  • Focus on difference between evaluation and assessment
  • Discuss how assessment data is used to improve learning
  • Different levels of assessment - Program, course, class…
  • Include key resources and contacts available to support development
  • Training sessions offered on a quarterly basis (link to FPR as needed to create awareness and understanding)
  • Fall conference
  • Gen Ed Day
  • Spring institute
  • Summer institute
  • Mentoring manual
  • Articles appearing in appropriate forums
    • P.T. Faculty newsletter
    • Faculty forum
    • President's bulletin?
  • Conduct Assessment Discussions/Forums (by Best Practices faculty)
  • Develop a list of resources available to support faculty development and place conveniently in LRC or PDC.

Action Item #5: How do we know that teaching is effective and making a difference in student learning?

First Year Report

This item is a recommendation to the Provost in response to his request for a blueprint depicting how to create a process to support substantive evaluation of the teaching. We recommend the following action items:

  • Build on research of what effective teaching is, employing multiple methodologies and using faculty-centered language in the approach.
  • Identify and prioritize need(s) relative to a campus-wide tool and process for student evaluation of teaching.
  • Survey Sinclair community to develop understanding of what tools and processes are used currently.
  • Assess extent to which existing tools and/or processes improve, expand and document learning in response to the fundamental learning college questions. Consider level three analysis in addition to level one and two.
  • Explore possible linkages in the relationship between the course syllabus and student evaluation process. For instance, are there expectations that should be stated in the syllabus to give students a clear understanding of the role of the faculty member and the role of the student?
  • Use peer observation and mentoring among recommended strategies
  • Benchmark best practices (perhaps among other Vanguard institutions) to determine what other institutions have successfully implemented.
  • Scope and/or identify target populations who will use the tool (full-time, part-time, adjunct faculty, staff members, etc.), impact on course delivery options (classroom, flex, distance, days, evenings, distance satellites, prison).
  • Identify critical dependencies and relationships to other projects (can we ride the tide and avoid the sharks?). Other projects include Vanguard Learning College project, NCA, Flashlight, Learning Challenge Grant, process learning initiative, KPMG Web processes, IPR student surveys.
  • Garner support for this initiative through meetings with champion constituencies such as Instructional Council, DCC, Faculty Senate, SDIC, Curriculum Committee, Learning Challenge Grant committee and other appropriate strategic groups.
  • Pilot and validate tool and process through support of champions.
  • Automate tool and process via Web-based technology (distribution, completion, submission, and dissemination of results).

Action Item #6: Formulate budget requests to enhance and support assessment practices.

First Year Report

  • Determine which actions require fiscal resources
  • Prioritize actions requiring fiscal resources
  • Establish objectives for top priority actions that attempt to demonstrate how those actions improve student learning
  • Scope extent of fiscal resources needed
  • Develop business case for request focused on how action(s) for which funds sought will improve student learning
  • Determine which cost center will submit budget request
  • Develop CITs & budget request forms to present funding request: Jan-Feb02
  • Solicit support of key champion(s) for request - Dean(s)? VPI? Provost?
  • Budget request subject to planning/budget review: Mar-Apr02

Action Item #7: Serve as resource to college's decision concerning evaluation method for next NCA self-study.

First Year Report

  • Hold discussion with VPI concerning assessment role
  • Stress need to know soon in order to pilot assessment/documentation gathering for item #2 above