An assessment archive contains documentation of a program’s assessment activities, providing a record of the components of a program’s assessment work over time. Where possible, the assessment archive should be a central location that both protects assessment materials and provides appropriate stakeholders with access. Assessment archives should typically be accessible by program leadership (chair, director, other) and appropriate committees and faculty to make assessment materials readily available.
Value of Assessment Archives
Program assessment materials are program assets and valuable resources for supporting effective curriculum and ongoing assessment. A well-organized archive stewards these materials and can:
- Make evidence of student learning readily available for faculty and degree programs
to use in decision-making
- Protect assessment materials from unauthorized acquisition, as well as accidental or intentional modification, destruction, or loss
- Contribute to efficient assessment infrastructure and reduce the logistical demands on individuals leading and contributing to assessment, allowing a program to build on past work and enabling assessment processes to mature over time
- Support succession planning and assessment continuity through expected and unexpected transitions in personnel or roles
- Demonstrate for university (or professional) accreditation that the degree program has systematic program-level assessment in place
Assessment Archives at WSU
WSU undergraduate degree programs are responsible for regularly maintaining an assessment archive for program-level assessment, as appropriate for the program’s needs and priorities. Chairs and directors should ensure that archives are maintained in a current location, with appropriate access for leadership, committees, and faculty on all campuses, as appropriate, as well as making staff or technical support available as needed.
The assessment archive should include the program’s annual degree program assessment reports, assessment plans, and other assessment materials (e.g. rubrics, measures/tools, data, results, findings). Each degree program should have a secure location behind a WSU login (e.g. shared drive, SharePoint, other software or secure storage; ideally in a system which faculty use for other department work, if possible) for storage of assessment materials. Depending on the context, it may not make sense for programs to digitize past assessment data or materials, or to digitize current materials or processes that the program feels are best kept in hard copy. Additionally, it may not make sense for programs and faculty to store all working documents and drafts in an assessment archive.
Assessment Archives Toolkit
The resources below are intended to help departments and programs as they develop or maintain their assessment archive. ACE is available to collaborate with undergraduate degree programs to develop archives for program-level assessment; contact us for additional information.
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|Assessment Archives||Quick Guide||ACE - WSU||Basic Assessment Archives for Degree Programs||PDF resource with general considerations for assessment archives|
|Assessment Data Stewardship||Quick Guide||ACE - WSU||Assessment Data Stewardship: Tips for Academic Programs||PDF resource with data stewardship tips for those collecting, managing, and using program assessment data|
Additional Resources and Scholarship
Note: Please contact ACE to borrow a book.
Suskie, L. (2018). Chapter 23: Summarizing and storing evidence of student learning. In Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.