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All incoming first-year students in Fall 2020 are required to complete a series of assessments to fulfill their Assessment Day requirement. On 8/17/20 all incoming first-students were sent an email from assessment@jmu.edu with instructions for how to fulfill the mandatory Assessment Day requirement. Students were told to fulfill the requirement by Friday 9/4/20 to avoid a hold on their record. Given the recent transition to online classes, we are extending the deadline to Friday 9/18/20. If you have any questions or concerns, please email assessment@jmu.edu or call 540-568-7169.



Do I have to attend Assessment Day?

If you have received an email from the Center for Assessment and Research Studies (assessment@jmu.edu) alerting you of your required participation in Assessment Day, then your participation is required. There are two Assessment Days each year: a Fall Assessment Day in August and a Spring Assessment Day in February. Incoming freshmen are required to participate in the Fall Assessment Day and students (even transfer students) that have earned between 45 and 70 credits prior to the spring semester are required to participate in the Spring Assessment Day. You cannot test out of these assessments. If you are uncertain about whether you must participate, contact the Center for Assessment and Research Studies (assessment@jmu.edu).  If you are required to participate and fail to do so, a hold will be placed on your record, preventing you from registering for classes and adding/dropping classes. 

What does participation in Assessment Day look like and how can I prepare?

Unlike previous Assessment Days at JMU, you do not need to go to a particular room on a particular day for the Fall 2020 Assessment Day. Because of COVID19, testing for Fall 2020 Assessment Day will take place remotely and you will be given several weeks to complete the requirement.

  • You will need to use a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet with a keyboard and a pair of headphones. Mobile phones are discouraged.
  • For most assessments, you will only need access to an internet browser.
  • Assessments might require the use of Microsoft Word, which is freely available to JMU students (click hereto download Microsoft Office).
  • Access to the assessments will require the use of Duo Two Factor Authentication, so be sure you all have that set up in advance.  
  • You will need to complete your assessments in a comfortable and quiet space where you can work without interruptions.

Generally, the completion of all assessments should take no more than 90 minutes. We strongly recommend you complete all assessments in one sitting. All assessments should be completed by the deadline (9/18/2020) to avoid a hold being placed on your record.

What kind of assessments will I be completing?

Expect to complete up to four assessments associated with your general education coursework and JMU experiences. A variety of assessments are administered. For example, you might be asked to complete assessments in quantitative and scientific reasoning, information literacy, critical thinking, cultural competency, environmental stewardship, communication, global history, American history, arts, humanities, or health and wellness. You might also be asked to respond to questions pertaining to your attitudes, values, perceptions, or behaviors. Not all students receive the same assessments. JMU uses the information you provide on Assessment Day to improve programs on campus that serve a large number of undergraduate students. Therefore, your efforts on Assessment Day will help improve the JMU student experience and make JMU a better university.

Can I access other resources (e.g., books, internet) when completing the assessments?

Although it may be tempting to use the internet or other resources to help answer questions, we ask that you do not do so because the purpose of these assessments is to understand what JMU students know at this point in time (not what JMU students can find out on the internet at this point in time). Furthermore, Assessment Day scores do not affect your academic record in any way, so there is no reason to cheat. In fact, cheating would be a violation of the Honor Code and a disservice to you and other JMU students as it would hinder JMU from making appropriate programmatic changes in response to Assessment Day results. We simply ask that you work independently and try your best.

What does JMU do with the information collected on Assessment Day? Why is Assessment Day important to me?

The information collected on Assessment Day is used in a variety of ways. First, assessment results are shared with faculty committees and administrators across the campus. The results are used to inform program changes and improvements, which in turn lead to a higher quality of education for all JMU students. Second, the assessments you will take on Assessment Day enable JMU to answer important questions being asked by students, parents, employers, and legislators about what a college degree is worth. Third, the Commonwealth of Virginia mandates that all state universities assess student learning to ensure quality.

Assessment Day is important to you because it helps to ensure that you are receiving the highest quality education and makes the quality of your education known to external groups (e.g., graduate schools, employers). These assessments help us show stakeholders what being a JMU graduate means. By giving your best effort on these assessments, you are helping to preserve the reputation of JMU, which, in turn, will help you get into a graduate program or get a job in the future.

What if I need testing accommodations (e.g. extended time, enlarged computer screen) because of a disability?

The table below contains instructions for students needing various types of testing accommodations on Assessment Day. Although you do not need to be registered with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) to receive these accommodations, we highly suggest you register with ODS early in your academic career by calling 540-568-6705 or visiting Student Success Center, Suite 1202. Please contact the Center for Assessment and Research Studies (assessment@jmu.edu) with any questions or concerns.

Accomodation

Accommodation

Instruction

Extended time

Students can take as much time as needed when taking the assessments remotely in Fall 2020. Although we provide suggested testing times, these suggestions are only to help students plan how much time it might take them to complete the assessment.

Enlarged computer screen, Reader, Scribe, Assistive Technology

For assistance with these accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) by calling 540-568-6705 or visiting the Student Success Center, Suite 1202. Please contact ODS at least two weeks prior to the Assessment Day requirement deadline (9/4/2020) to make arrangements. 

What is the purpose of testing transfer students on Spring Assessment Day?

Transfer students provide an invaluable resource for comparing JMU’s award winning general education program to other general education programs across the country. By participating in Assessment Day, transfer students are helping to identify areas of strength and weakness in JMU’s general education program. With this information in hand, changes can be made to better serve JMU’s student population and increase JMU’s national reputation.

How does my attendance and performance on Assessment Day affect my student record?

Assessment results are used to inform program changes and improvements, which in turn lead to a higher quality of education for all JMU students. Your scores on the assessments will not become part of your student record, GPA, or placement into programs/courses. However, all students are expected to participate in Assessment Day and provide good effort on the assessments. If you fail to complete all the assessments assigned to you, a hold will be placed on your student record. This hold will prevent you from adding or dropping classes within the current semester and will prevent you from registering for future classes. If you receive a hold for not participating in Assessment Day, the Center for Assessment and Research Studies (CARS) will contact you directly with information on how to get the hold removed. For more information, please contact CARS at assessment@jmu.edu.

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