Identification of Team to Design the Assessment Plan
The assessment plan may be designed by an assessment team in the unit. The charge of the team can be to advise and review program assessment plans, data, and results. The team can also be charged with collection and analysis of data, and present the results to the entire faculty leading the discussions on possible improvements in the program.
The Assessment Team may lead the charge for continuous assessment and improvement with input from the entire faculty in the unit. The leader of the team can be responsible to create the annual reports and to ensure that the proper timelines for assessment are followed. It will also be the team leader’s responsibility to ensure participation and elicit input from the entire faculty regarding the assessment goals as well as data collection and analysis.
Deciding on a Team
Even though all faculty members in the department should be involved in the process, there may be a small subset of the department that is charged with certain responsibilities for the assessment. We recommend that an Assessment Team or Committee be formed by the unit leader with input from the faculty. The team can be constituted by faculty who know the entire curriculum for the major; it could also be used to help some junior faculty get familiar with the entire curriculum with respect to the program learning outcomes.
The membership in the team may be term-limited to enable the germination of new ideas and to examine the learning outcomes with fresh eyes over time. Each unit can determine the appropriate term limits for their members. At the same time, it is of utmost importance that the entire faculty provide support and participate in the process so that there is consensus towards the goal of improving student learning and the process is self-sustaining over time.
The Assessment Team, in consultation with the faculty in the unit, is responsible for analyzing the data and to create an actionable plan for improvement that will be reported to the Provost’s office. The Assessment Team will also produce an annual report that will be used for the following years’ assessment activities. The team can achieve this in two ways:
- The team strives to achieve consensus score for each program learning outcome, or
- Each member of the team can rank the outcome on a rubric, with the results combined or averaged at the end.
In either case, the goal is to create an actionable plan to improve the student learning outcomes. Every year, the team will examine the progress towards the goal and report on the same as well as improvement in curriculum and course delivery to improve student learning.
The specific responsibilities of the team are enumerated below:
- Lead the faculty to create and revise the program learning outcomes.
- Collect data on peer programs and/or from accreditation agencies regarding the expected knowledge and skills of program graduates.
- Consult with faculty to create the methodology to collect data on student learning outcomes.
- Collect and analyze data from different sources, including student evaluations, focus groups, and institutional research.
- Lead the discussion with the entire faculty to enumerate the goals for improvement.
- Create and submit the report to the Provost’s office.
The team leader should make sure that the timeline is followed and the deadlines are met.