Assessment Committee Request

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.

Dear Faculty,

 

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 jasimow@ccc.edu.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer Asimow, Assessment Committee Chair

On behalf of the Assessment Committee

Call for Assessment Volunteers

Michael Heathfield and the (national award winning) Assessment Committee are looking for help with their efforts to assess student skills in regard to the Gen Ed Objective of “Oral Communication” mastery as measured by the associated General Education learning outcomes. Per Michael:

“Here’s an opportunity to contribute data for something useful, positive, and directly related to improving student learning.”

They need faculty who are already having students do some sort of oral presentation some time between weeks 12 and 16. If you have a class that fits that description, then (unlike in past years where students went and took a test in the lab or something) by volunteering you’d be agreeing to use the committee’s easy to use rubric (in addition to OR instead of your own) to evaluate the student presentations and submit those to the committee. There may be a quick survey for students to take, as well, but I’m not sure about that.

Regardless, you would be volunteering to do an easy (and helpful) bit of bonus data collection that won’t take all that long or be all that difficult to do and will help all of us learn something about where our students are in regard to oral communication skills. That, in turn, will give all of us good information about what we might do in our classes to promote student growth toward this objective.

Imagine that: some data collection that might actually tell us something about student learning and helpfully inform our teaching! Please help if you can.

If you are interested in learning more, contact Michael Heathfield or someone you know on the Assessment Committee (every department has a rep) and find out more. If you are interested in volunteering, go HERE and do it!

Whaddya Know Assessment Committee Podcast (5)

Whaddya Know? is a bi-weekly, featured podcast conversation with the Chair of the HW Assessment Committee highlighting recent assessment activities, results, and consequent recommendations of the college’s hardest working committee. It appears every other Friday afternoon.

Almost. We missed it two weeks ago. And then, this one was delayed for a couple of days. Let’s pretend it’s Friday, shall we? No? Fine. Still, it’s better than late than never!

This week: Assessment Times!

Formative Assessment Explained

This article is as great of an explanation of what Assessment ought to look like and what it is commonly confused with as I have yet run across. Check it:

When teachers are told, inaccurately, that formative assessment is a kind of test, this is akin to telling a would-be surfer that a surfboard is the same as surfing. While a surfboard represents an important ingredient in surfing, it is only that—a part of the surfing process. The entire process involves the surfer’s paddling out to an appropriate offshore location, selecting the right wave, choosing the most propitious moment to catch the chosen wave, standing upright on the surfboard, and staying upright while a curling wave rumbles toward shore. The surfboard is a key component of the surfing process, but it is not the entire process.

Similarly, an assessment is an important part of the formative-assessment process, but it is only that—a part of the formative-assessment process. The entire process involves decisions about when to test and what to test, selection or construction of suitable assessment procedures, judgments about whether assessment-elicited evidence should lead to adjustments, and choices about the nature of any adjustments. Assessments are a key component of the formative-assessment process, but they are not the entire process.

Read the rest. You’ll be smarter when you’re done, and a better educator to boot.

Whaddya Know? Assessment Committee Podcast (3)

 

Whaddya Know? is a bi-weekly, featured podcast conversation with the Chair of the HW Assessment Committee highlighting recent assessment activities, results, and consequent recommendations of the college’s hardest working committee. It appears every other Friday afternoon.

Today’s topic is Faculty Motivation.

I have much more to say about all this, and probably will in a long rambling rant sometime this weekend or next, but I raise it here because the motivations of the public sector union members have been somewhat on trial this week in the court of public opinion, with all signs pointing to more and increasing scrutiny and criticism of public workers in the near future (read this for a harrowing preview).

Enjoy!

Whaddya Know? Assessment Committee Podcast (2)

Whaddya Know? is a regularly featured podcast conversation with the Chair of the HW Assessment Committee highlighting recent assessment activities, results, and consequent recommendations of the college’s hardest working committee. It appears every Friday afternoon (unless there is a blizzard).

Well, let’s try this again, shall we? And this time without the giggling and without the 20 inches of snow. All assessment all the time this week. Please post any questions you have (or would like addressed in future installments.

This week Mike talks about the Quantitative Reasoning report (including a teaser or two), the Lumina Foundation’s National Degree Outcomes Proposal, and a new report from ICCB with some really interesting information about student goals. Enjoy!

Oh, and the themes song is “Journey to the Center of Your Mind” by The Ramones (from Acid Eater).