Planning & Assessment South of the Border - 2003 Acapulco Conference Presentation Abstracts

Developing Assessment Plans and Building Rubrics to Measure Student Performance in General Education and the Major. Presenter: Larry Kelley, Kelley Planning and Educational Services.
The presenter will give a comprehensive but brief overview of an innovative assessment process and describe examples of course embedded assessment techniques/procedures and development of assessment plans and rubrics. Participants will spend most of the time reserved for the session working in small groups to utilize the model presented in the workshop to develop assessment plans and related rubrics.

An Easy to Use Model for Effective Departmental Assessment and Planning. Presenter: Larry Kelley, Kelley Planning and Educational Services.
The presenter of this session will describe a comprehensive but easy to use model for assessment/improvement of programs and services at the department level. Using this model, academic departments are required to develop annual assessment plans to address two primary areas for each of its major programs, student learning outcomes (knowledge and skills in the major and general education knowledge and skills) and faculty outcomes (grant writing, scholarly productivity, and service). Departments are also required to create reports of the results of assessment work and to develop short and long-range plans for improvement. Participants will develop related plans and reports.

Oral Communication Assessment in the General Education Program. Presenter: Louis Rosso, Professor and Chair, Department of Speech, Winthrop University.
This session will present practical information on the development of a university general education oral communication assessment program. Most university general education goals include a statement on student competency of oral communication. During the past five years Winthrop University's Department of Speech and the Office of Assessment have developed a model for the assessment of oral communication to measure the attainment of this general education goal. Unique to this model is the utilization of existing university components of the educational process to function in the pre- and post-test measures of oral communication competency.

Got Data? Using a Technological Infrastructure to Disseminate Assessment Information. Presenter: Susan Hatfield, Assessment Coordinator, Winona State University.
Creating a culture of assessment requires (among other things) widespread access to assessment data. This presentation will demonstrate Winona State University's integrated database and reporting tools which allow faculty to access data in real time from their offices or from home. Funded by a US Department of Education Title III Grant, this project has had a tangible impact on WSU's assessment and accreditation efforts.

Monkeying Around: Evolutionary Trajectories of Assessment Initiatives. Presenters: Susan Hatfield, Assessment Coordinator and Tim Hatfield, Department of Counselor Education, Winona State University.
Has your assessment program been a series of steps forward and backward? You're not alone! This presentation will discuss common developmental patterns of assessment initiatives. Extinction or evolution - help make the choice!

The Cognitive Level and Quality of Writing Instrument (CLAQWA): Implications for the Classroom and Beyond. Presenter: Elizabeth Metzger, Associate Professor of English, University of South Florida.
The presentation will describe the history and rationale of the two-part scale of the Cognitive Level and Quality of Writing Assessment (CLAQWA), designed to assist instructors and program evaluation teams to assess and respond to student writing. The presentation will describe the presenter's use of the instrument to design assignments at the undergraduate and graduate level. Attendees will be encouraged to reflect and discuss how the instrument can be applied to their own academic settings.

Designing a System to Evaluate Administrators: One College's Story. Presenter: Linda Noble, Dean, College of Humanities & Social Sciences and Dorothy Graham, Faculty/Student OMBUD and Professor of English, Kennesaw State University.
This presentation will describe the process that was used by Kennesaw State University's College of Humanities & Social Sciences to develop and implement a formal system of evaluation for all Department Chairs, Directors, and the Dean. The session will describe some of the challenges we faced and the process we used. The forms we developed will be shared and we will explain how we use the feedback. The session would be of interest to faculty and administrators at other colleges or universities that are interested in establishing an administrator evaluation process on their campus.

Evaluating Organizational Resources through a Membership Survey. Presenters: Linda Noble, Dean, College of Humanities & Social Sciences and Christine Ziegler, Professor of Psychology, Kennesaw State University.
This session will describe the design and use of a survey to determine membership satisfaction with resources offered by a professional organization, The Society for Teaching of Psychology, Division Two of the American Psychological Association. The Society for the Teaching of Psychology offers the Teaching of Psychology Journal, a number of teaching resources through its Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP), the STP biannual Newsletter, Psych Teacher, a moderated discussion list, programs at several professional meetings, and an impressive array of Internet resources. In an effort to assess the value and frequency of use of these resources by our members, a questionnaire was developed and distributed to STP-member psychology teachers in high schools, colleges, and universities across the United States. This session will describe the design of the survey, the results of our membership feedback, and the ways in which the organization is using these results to strengthen our efforts to provide quality and accessible resources to teachers of psychology at all levels. By way of example, this session would be interesting to anyone interested in evaluating aspects of a program, organization, etc., through the use of the survey method.

Closing the Loop on Assessment: Using Assessment Data in Program Planning. Presenters: Susan Rouse, Associate Professor of Philosophy; Rebecca Casey, Chair, University Studies and Associate Professor of English; and David King, Director of Learning Communities and Assistant Professor of English, Kennesaw State University.
We will describe linking changes in assessment to on-going planning for the learning community program at a large state institution moving from being a commuter campus to one with residential students. Concurrent with the introduction of residence halls has been the establishment of specific themes for each of the learning communities. Newly designed assessment strategies have been used to gather information that is being used in three areas of planning - program structure, student recruitment, and faculty recruitment. This session will describe assessment strategies and instruments used, present results and findings, and discuss the program changes planned for the coming year.

Lessons from the Qualitative Trenches: Using Focus Groups in Program Planning. Presenter: Rebecca Casey, Associate Professor of English, Kennesaw State University
This presentation will describe the process of conducting qualitative research at the program level for purposes of program planning. The rich descriptive data gained from focus groups was needed to supplement quantitative data being collected on CLASS, the Learning Community program at a large four-year state institution making the transition from being a commuter campus to one with residential students. The presenter will overview the basics of focus group research, describe the specific approach used for program assessment, and detail specific lessons learned from an initial foray into the "qualitative trenches." Finally, the presenter will share specific programmatic developments that resulted from the qualitative data gathered and lead a discussion of the KSU experience in focus group research for program planning.

An Example of a University Planning Process and the Role of Departments. Presenter: James Hill, Professor and Chair of Chemistry Department, California State University, Sacramento.
California State University, Sacramento, is a regional comprehensive public university with a central mission of educating students. Faculty have as their primary responsibility teaching and creating an active learning environment for students. To ensure that the mission of the university is achieved, a comprehensive planning process involving assessment has been established. The University planning process will be reviewed. The process involves starting with the University mission statement, which is then converted to a Strategic Plan and Goals document. It is this document that drives the planning process within the University. The Strategic Plan and Goals of the University also requires the development of key performance indicators, institutional assessment and program assessment. These will be discussed with examples for each. The role of a department in the planning process and assessment is critical in developing the profile of a University. The presenter is Chair of the Chemistry department and will use it as an example. An overview of a department program review will be presented and the positive and negative characteristics associated with the process will also be discussed.

Tracking Prospective, Current and Former Students for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment. Presenter: Melanie Bell, Western Director, National Student Clearinghouse.
Researchers will discover how to track their prospective, current, and former students for more accurate measurement and assessment of the performance of the institution using the EnrollmentSearch tool offered by the National Student Clearinghouse. Learn how to use this tool for tracking students, such as those who decline offers of admission, transfer to other institutions, graduate and continue their education at other institutions, and much more. The Clearinghouse database contains 53+ million student records from 2700+ colleges and universities comprising about 91 percent of all the US student population.

Assessment, Contexts, Ideologies and Priorities - A Polemic Perspective. Presenter: Olivet Jagusah, Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations, Eastern Illinois University.
Theories of assessment need to come to terms with this real and idealpolitik of educational assessment. Like any other educational concern, there are generally three acceptable ways by which we build theories in education be such theories about teaching, learning or assessment. The first is to derive theories from either philosophies or ideologies; the second is to react to an existing philosophical or ideological practice; or thirdly, to construct theory from one's practice. While the third approach is the healthiest from a practitioner's perspective, building a regime of assessment only on epistemological foundation might lead to the fallacies of educational outcomes devoid of the political, social, economic, and academic realities at hand. Nigeria and the USA will be used here as the case study.

Viewing Assessment as if Student Learning Matters - The Case for a Sequential General Education Program. Presenter: Olivet Jagusah, Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations, Eastern Illinois University.
This is the result of a four-year formative study and assessment of the educational experiences of pre-service teachers in the educational foundation courses at Eastern Illinois University. Few of our students have any solid experience in the humanities, social sciences or the sciences. It seems our general education courses are not doing what they were supposed to do: provide students with the necessary background to understand their subsequent individual specialization. Planning and assessing learning in general education coursework therefore calls for our understanding of the very nature of general education itself if we are to move from teaching to learning. That is if we are to place our students at the center of teaching and learning, our college assessment tools must out of necessity take formative assessment more seriously.

Designing a Course Via the Soft System Methodology. Presenters: Gina Maria Poletti and Daniel Erasto Santos-Reyes, Universidad Tecnologica de la Mixteca.
Based on contextual research and literature, it is clear that students have serious problems when bridging the gap between basic and further education here in Mexico, whilst teachers demonstrate an apparent inability to design and implement courses which cater to these particular students' needs. With this in mind, the idea of designing and implementing a new type of course which directly addresses these issues is both valid and viable at this point. This paper proposes a novel approach by which learners in a technological university may be made aware of metacognitive strategies as a means of improving their learning capabilities. It is hoped that this will facilitate the teachers' recognition of student needs and, at the same time, promote learner autonomy amongst students.

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