Creating a Meaningful and Measurable Assessment Plan

Does the idea of assessment seem overwhelming? This webinar was intended to provide a framework for developing a meaningful, manageable and effective assessment plan. What we value as meaningful outcomes for students (e.g. critical thinking, problem solving, appreciation of diverse perspectives, and engagement in real-world problems), and what we can easily measure (e.g. GPA, retention, and graduation) are often quite different. In order to know if our programs are having the desired impact, we need to find new ways to measure program effectiveness. The session aimed to: facilitate a discussion of a framework participants can use on their campuses to a) develop meaningful outcomes, b) identify measurable outcomes, and then c) find common ground between the two in order to create an assessment plan that is both meaningful and measurable. This activity also takes into account other issues including data validity, the value of different outcomes to different audiences (e.g., what outcomes do campus leaders care about, what outcomes do students care about, and what outcomes do funding agencies care about), what resources are available for conducting research, time-frame for conducting assessment, and the audience or purpose of the assessment. Strategies and examples will provide concrete tools to bring to your campus assessment plan.