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Office of Assessment for Curricular Effectiveness Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

Sample Reflective Questions for Undergraduate Degree Program Assessment for Spring 2020

The unexpected COVID-19 outbreak, and resulting move to remote learning, means a disrupted and stressful semester with substantial challenges and changes to courses, teaching, and learning. As outlined in ATL’s Guidance and Priorities for Undergraduate Program Assessment for Spring 2020, programs may want to consider conducting alternative formative assessment activities, to help gauge the impacts of this semester on teaching, learning, and curricula. This input may be useful in informing decisions about potential adjustments to courses taught in upcoming semesters.

ATL has prepared sample reflective questions (downloadable Word document) intended to help undergraduate degree programs intentionally gather input about adjustments made this semester and potential impacts on student learning throughout the curriculum. This resource is intended to provide a flexible approach to collecting valuable input from program faculty and/or students to be used as qualitative program assessment data this semester. ATL encourages programs to adapt and implement these reflective questions as best fits their context and capacity.

We appreciate all that faculty, advisors, and staff are doing to deliver courses and support students, and are glad to discuss these reflective questions to help determine what will serve each program. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Reporting Program Assessment Activities in Activity Insight for Faculty Annual Review

Beginning in 2018, updates to WSU’s faculty manual provide recognition for faculty participation in assessment in the annual review process, as part of Teaching or Service accomplishments, depending on the activity. This update aligns with the university’s EPPM policies on assessment, which include recognizing assessment work in annual review at all levels.

Now, in 2020, the faculty annual review software, known as Activity Insight, has also been updated to reflect these changes. The current iteration of Activity Insight now includes drop-down menus and built-in prompts for assessment activities connected to teaching and curriculum in the Teaching/Mentoring section, as well as the continued ability to report work coordinating assessment and serving on related committees in the Service section. » More …

Celebrating Excellence in WSU Undergraduate Program Assessment

Interim Provost Bryan Slinker speaking at 2019 Celebration of Assessment Excellence.On November 6th, the Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL), Interim Provost Bryan Slinker, and Vice Provost Mary F. Wack hosted the second Celebration of Assessment Excellence, shining a spotlight on good practices in learning outcomes assessment and the efforts of program faculty, faculty assessment coordinators, chairs and directors, representing diverse academic programs and colleges, who share a strong commitment to providing high quality education to WSU’s undergraduate population. » More …

Using Course Grades to Assess the Student Experience (Mathematics)

While course grades are not fine-tuned enough to give information about student achievement on specific learning outcomes, they can nonetheless provide a rough indication of some aspects of curricular effectiveness, which programs can use – often in combination with other measures – to guide decision-making.

Course grades are often considered the “indicator” type of indirect assessment measure, and may provide programs with information that can uncover student course-taking patterns and give information about student progress through the curriculum, or identify new areas for investigation of a program’s effectiveness. For example, a high D/F/W rate in a core course may indicate a need to re-evaluate the curriculum (or a particular option/track) and how students are prepared for the course. A program could also use course grades to generally indicate where students may need more support in the curriculum. » More …

Warm Syllabus Workshop Brings Inclusive Excellence to Syllabus Design

Research shows that student belonging is a key aspect of student academic success, especially for underrepresented students. A holistic approach to increasing student belonging includes the careful construction of all documents related to the course, including the syllabus.

In May, nearly 60 instructors from 30 departments explored ways to reduce unintended barriers and set a positive tone in the classroom through a workshop entitled “Designing a Syllabus to Enhance Student-Faculty Relationships and Decrease Workload,” offered by the Office of Assessment of Teaching & Learning in conjunction with the Office of Undergraduate Education and the College of Arts and Sciences. » More …

Program Assessment Contributes to Teaching and Service Accomplishments in Faculty Annual Review

January opens the new year and begins the annual review process for faculty, a time to reflect on and report accomplishments of the past year.  ATL joins university leadership in valuing the contributions faculty make as they engage in assessment activities that advance student learning in undergraduate courses and curricula.

Beginning in 2018, updates to WSU’s faculty manual provide a mechanism to recognize faculty participation in assessment in the annual review process, as part of Teaching or Service accomplishments, depending on the activity.  This update aligns with the university’s EPPM policies on assessment, which include recognizing assessment work in annual review at all levels.  » More …

ATL Visit to WSU Tri-Cities and Assignment Design Workshop

ATL would like to thank WSU Tri-Cities faculty and staff for a successful visit this fall. In November, ATL traveled to WSU’s Tri-Cities Campus to meet with WSU Tri-Cities colleagues about program assessment and to present a workshop on Transparent Assignment Design» More …

Accreditation Reaffirmed by NWCCU, WSU’s Next Steps Take Shape

Now that fall semester is in full swing and many faculty and administrators with assessment duties have kicked off another cycle of assessment, we in ATL find ourselves wrapping up 2018 undergraduate program assessment reporting. In doing so, we are reminded of the effort and dedication that goes into creating a viable system of assessment across all of WSU’s undergraduate programs.

We want to take a moment to recognize that, over the summer, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) reaffirmed WSU’s institutional accreditation; an acknowledgement that we, as a university, continue to meet or exceed criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. » More …

May 2018 Assignment Design Workshop Registration

The Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL) is pleased to offer an assignment design workshop this May, “Clearer Assignments Promote Better Student Work,” designed to assist instructors in designing and refining assignments to more effectively foster and assess student learning, while increasing possibilities for student success. A well-designed and transparent assignment can promote student learning by clarifying the purpose of the assignment for students, by decoding the tasks required to complete the assignment successfully, and specifying criteria for evaluation. » More …

Inaugural Celebration of Assessment Excellence at WSU

Provost Dan Bernardo.The Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL), along with Provost Daniel J. Bernardo and Vice Provosts Erica W. Austin and Mary F. Wack, are delighted to recognize undergraduate programs, departments and schools where program-level assessment is well-established, thanks in large part to the efforts of faculty assessment coordinators, chairs and directors. In November 2017, ATL and the WSU Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education hosted a Celebration of Assessment Excellence, honoring sixteen undergraduate programs on the Pullman Campus with exemplary assessment practices.  » More …