Anyone can do assessment

In fact, you're probably already doing it!

Assessment aims to improve student learning/development by examining whether your program is working as intended.

Samples of assessment are:

Kathleen in Residence Life is writing learning objective for students in the RA role in terms of what they will gain from the experience of being an RA.

Diane in Office of Disability Services gives her Learning Strategies Instruction students pre and post test questions on their study skills to learn if her students can identify the four out of five study strategies taught during LSI sessions.

Mike in the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices asks students questions after they complete a program, to see what they learned.

Some of us are also doing evaluations!

Evaluations focus on the value of something. Assessment focuses on student learning. Evaluations however are not necessarily concerned with learning outcomes. In other words, evaluations tend to be broader than assessment-assessment of learning may be one piece of an evaluation but it does not have to be.

Samples of evaluations are:

Sally in the Health Center tracks the dates that students turn in their health records, to inform future deadlines.

Karen in Career and Academic Planning monitors the effects of on-campus job fairs, to see if they are worth the cost.

Why is assessment in higher education important?

It sets standards, evaluates progress, and provides feedback for future decision-making What are students’ needs?  Are we meeting those needs?  How do we measure success?  What components work best?  What components need improvement?  How does my assessment add to the current research?

It motivates performance.  Now that I am in charge of learning, how am I doing?  How can I do better?  What would I like to learn?  What can I do to help students more?  In what direction should we go next?

It provides survival in a world of limited resources.  Is higher education worth the increasing costs?  Why should we give you more funding for your programs and services?  Why should we fund your programs in the first place?

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, we're here to help!

The purpose of Student Affairs Assessment Advisory Council is to:

  • Facilitate a better understanding of assessment in the division of Student Affairs and to improve assessment within each department.
  • Provide instruction and consultation on assessment projects
  • Facilitate communication amongst assessment representatives in the Division
  • Promote assessment efforts within Student Affairs

This site was organized to provide staff with guidance, resources and support for their assessment projects.

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