Faculty and Assessment
The successful adoption and implementation of any assessment initiative or framework relies heavily on the faculty. One of the major findings of the national survey on the current state of student learning outcomes conducted by the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) was that “faculty are the key to moving assessment forward” (Kuh, G.D., Jankowski, N., Ikenberry, S.O., & Kinzie, J., 2014). The implications of this and other findings call for an urgent responsiveness to more faculty participation in the assessment and evaluation of learning at institutions. Hutchings (2010) validated this claim by stating that “the real promise of assessment depends on significantly growing and deepening faculty involvement” (p.6).
Assessment Versus Grading
Grading is one of many ways to measure learning, but not always a reliable measure of individual learning and performance. Grading often includes criteria such as attendance, participation, and effort, which are not direct measures of learning. Assessment goes beyond grading to look for patterns of learning across courses and programs with the goal of informing and improving the teaching and learning practices.
Collaboration with AQA
The Academic Quality Assurance unit (known as “AQA”) is part of the college’s Strategic Research and Analytics team. Assessment support for faculty at the program and course level is their number one priority. Their goal is to promote a culture of inquiry and shared understanding of good assessment practices. A solid academic assessment plan helps assess student learning outcomes and/or subject-matter mastery during the program and toward the end of a course or a program. AQA provides support in a number of assessment areas:
- Curriculum mapping
- Crafting program/course learning outcomes
- Creating assignments
- Crafting rubrics
- Analyzing and reporting on learning (grades, rubrics, surveys)
Assessment Basics Blackboard Organization, developed by AQA, provides the following learning modules:
- Assessment 101
- Curriculum Mapping
- Creating and Using Rubrics (including a comprehensive repository of rubrics that can be exported/imported into your courses and edited for your purpose)
To request enrollment in Assessment Basics, contact your instructional designer.
Hutchings, P. (2010). Opening doors to faculty involvement in assessment. Retrieved from http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/documents/PatHutchings.pdf
Kuh, G. D., Jankowski, N., Ikenberry, S. O., & Kinzie, J. (2014). Knowing what students know and can do: The current state of student learning outcomes assessment in US colleges and universities. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).