Jen Asimow, friend of the Lounge (and me) and Chair of the Assessment Committee this semester, asked if I would post the following letter. For those who don’t have the full background, I hope to get another post up some time after I’ve finished midterm grading.
It has come to the attention of the Assessment Committee that there are faculty who are disheartened by the way the CCSSE (Community College Survey of Student Engagement) is being administered this spring. As you all know, we have a long tradition of voluntary assessment practices at HWC, refusing to mandate any form of assessment that comes through our committee. We continue to honor that practice.
This spring, CCSSE is being administered through the Office of Academic Affairs, under the direction of the Office of Research and Planning, not the Assessment Committee. A random sample of course sections is chosen by the CCSSE administration in Texas and is sent to the college. Normally, colleges then require faculty to administer the survey at specific times in specific courses. Our college is trying to make this scheduling as flexible as possible, allowing faculty to choose the time in their courses that is best for their students and them. Faculty have been given a fairly wide window to get this done, within the CCSSE requirements.
Understandably, this is frustrating for many of you. Time is precious and teaching time, even more so. No, it is not ideal and it is not the way the Assessment Committee has done things in the past. However, the information they receive from this survey is important as student engagement is directly and indirectly related to learning. We are hopeful that you can find the time required to honor this request from our administration. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer Asimow, Assessment Committee Chair
On behalf of the Assessment Committee