Hello colleagues!

First, a big thank you and congratulations for the many assessment plans submitted at the end of October.

By empowering discipline- and service-level faculty and staff to prioritize aspects of student learning they wish to focus on, rather than simply follow a data-gathering routine, we are trying something really new in SLO assessment.  And *because* it is new, the process will need reflection and adjustment – all of which begins with your invaluable participation.

What happened to your Assessment Plans? – These were read and discussed by the Committee on Teaching and Learning (CTL) at their November meeting.

NOTE: the CTL oversees assessment, but the committee does not “grade” or approve assessment plans. The primary audience for assessment plans is yourselves; and these plans should reflect discipline and service priorities.

The CTL reads and discusses your plans to identify trends, opportunities for collaboration, and need for support; also, to see where the assessment process needs improvement. The College Assessment Committee (CAC) is tasked with implementing the results of these discussions.

This year, our discussion yielded the following:

  • We need to improve support for assessment planning. Over spring, the CAC will work to create workshops, improve online instructional materials, and explore hosting clinics on various aspects of assessment (framing a manageable question, what sort of data to use, how to do surveys or focus groups, etc.). We also want to share out success stories.
  • The current assessment form should be revised for clarity (how does the question align with SLOs?)

What happens next? – Over the spring semester, please don’t forget to update your assessment plan. What was the outcome? What did you find out? Did you make any changes? Did you try something that worked or bombed? Make sure to record the results on your plan – for yourselves and your colleagues down the line.

Meanwhile, the Assessment Committee and the CTL will be working to improve assessment support as indicated, and to continue to make the process meaningful, well-integrated into institutional routines, and non-onerous.

Have a wonderful semester!