Thirty-five years ago, Drs. Trudy Banta and Peter Ewell catalyzed outcomes assessment measures in higher education. The administrators, and prolific scholars, were the first to coordinate efforts that addressed national and international inquiry regarding university effectiveness and the value of an academic degree. Banta and Ewell’s early work still resonates in assessment and institutional research offices across college campuses nationwide.

On April 2 - 4, 2017, the scholars sat around tables in a Washington D.C. classroom with 20+ assessment leaders from more than 16 different states.  Prominently represented organizations included...  Read More

Trudy Banta and Peter Ewell

In this opening session, Trudy and Peter review the origins of the assessment movement in the early 1980’s and the progress that has been made in terms of assessment technology and the use of assessment results. They discuss tensions between doing assessment for accountability and for institutional improvement and offer advice on how we can make learning improvement a more prevalent feature of our assessment efforts. 

Keston Fulcher and Cara Meixner

In this session, Keston and Cara define learning improvement and discuss a model that features the collaborative efforts of assessment experts, faculty developers, and academic programs. Focused attention is given to the vital role of educational development offices in recruiting, motivating, educating, and developing faculty as partners in the improvement process.

Charles Blaich and Kathy Wise

Charlie and Kathy highlight the improvements they have observed in the last decade, and the obstacles that remain, to using assessment to improve student learning.

Monica Stitt-Bergh

I describe an information literacy learning assessment project conducted in collaboration with faculty teaching in the first-year writing program and instructional librarians. Using this experience, I share thoughts about issues that hindered a better understanding of learning improvement (i.e., trust and time) and recommendations for evidencing learning improvement.

Cynthia Crimmins

Designing faculty development programming that follows best practices and provides evidence of improved student learning can be a challenge in higher education. This talk describes a Teaching Academy that ticks all the right boxes by certifying faculty as "critically reflective practitioners."

Linda Halpern

Twenty years ago, JMU undertook a complete overhaul of its general education program, after assessment of the previous program was unable to document student learning attributable to program coursework. The new curriculum was founded in student learning outcomes, and assessment practices were aligned with program goals and outcomes from the beginning.

Mary Ann Coughlin

We have all undertaken projects designed to use assessment results to improve student learning and have documented successes, while other times these projects are less successful or are met with resistance. This presentation explores what can be learned from all of these experiences. Further, we discuss how higher education needs to be in it for the long haul. Sometimes we need to take the long way home to improve student learning.

Docia Rudley

This presentation is based on the assessment of first year law students’ written work in a uniform writing program at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law (TMSL). The project was notable for the collaboration among faculty members, the practicing bar, and the TMSL Office of Assessment. The presentation will focus on the assessment process and the use of assessment results to foster a dialog among Lawyering Process faculty members about strategies for improving students’ legal writing skills.

Catherine Andersen  

Student success is often measured by terms such as progression, retention, persistence, gap analysis, graduation rates, etc. Whatever the term, a basic measure of effectiveness is the percentage of students who begin and subsequently graduate. When one understands the unique input variables students bring to an institution and understands and tracks their specific paths, intervention plans based on sound institutional and assessment data that lead to real improvements can be developed.  This session reviews basic theoretical models for student success and provides examples of student pathways that are identified with data, and discusses the design of interventions along students’ unique paths to graduation.

Megan Good

Most faculty development events occur at the individual course level. However, to evidence programmatic learning improvement, strategies are needed at the program level. In this study, a proof of concept is provided for the efficacy of joining faculty development and assessment efforts, including the impact on student learning.

Kristen Smith

Examples of demonstrable student learning improvement are rare, perhaps because assessment is disconnected from pedagogy and curriculum. By illuminating the “black box,” implementation fidelity research integrates assessment with pedagogy and curriculum. Integration allows practitioners to evidence that learning improved and explain why, by linking improvements to specific pedagogies and curricula.

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