Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Assessment at WestConn
- Question: When will the University Assessment report be due?
Answer: The Assessment Update (report) is part of the annual report that is submitted to your dean at the end of each spring semester.
- Question: For the upcoming report, what time period should be covered?
Answer: For the upcoming report, the 2008-09 academic year should be covered. However, if there were accomplishments from 2007-08 which occurred too late to be included in last year's annual report, then those accomplishments should also be covered. Example 1: Suppose there was a departmental meeting in November 2008 to make recommendations based on data gathered in 2007-08. The recommendations should be included in the spring 2009 report. Example 2: Suppose two faculty members applied a rubric to spring 2008 laboratory reports during summer 2008. Those results should appear in the spring 2009 report.
- Question: If it is the current academic year, what should those departments that are assessing
their program completers do? Most of these students will not have "completed" the program until
May, after the due date of the report.
Answer: Some departmental assessment plans call for collection of data on program completers. In these cases, the most recent group of completers with data should be used -- for example, majors who graduated between August 2007 and May 2008. However, some departmental assessment plans call for collection of data on rising juniors instead of program completers, thus allowing for mid-course adjustments to curriculum and/or instruction.
- Question: Should the Assessment Grids be changing each year?
Answer: Yes, Assessment Grids should change each year. Some departments have six or more objectives for student learning. It would be reasonable to expect three objectives to be addressed in any given year. The other three objectives should be listed in the grid with a notation that they will be addressed the following year. Suppose a department “closed the loop” last year by changing its curriculum and/or instruction. This year they may want to assess whether the changes resulted in improved student learning. It is also likely that objectives will change, or new objectives will emerge as accreditation requirements change (or as paradigms shift within -- or across -- disciplines).
- Question: For Departments that assess various aspects of their programs on a rotating basis,
how should this rotation be reflected in their Assessment Grids? Also, should these Departments
submit reports every two years when all objectives have been assessed?
Answer: For departments that assess various aspects of their programs on a rotating basis – for example, oral competency one year and written competency the next year -- the timetables in their grids should reflect this rotation. These departments must still submit annual reports even though it takes them two years to complete a cycle of assessing all objectives.