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Close the Loop: Adjust Office or Program Design

What does it mean to "Close the Loop"?

The purpose of office or program assessment is to find where your office or program is achieving or not achieving its goals and to make adjustments on the basis of those findings. The "loop" indicates that this is a continuous process of identifying goals, assessing evidence, using this data to improve office or program design, and then once again identify goals.

Why "Close the Loop"?

Closing the loop is the part of assessment where the office or program gets to take action, where it gets to innovate and advocate for resources. Based on the office's or program's findings of where and how goals are or are not being met, the office or program can decide how to adjust design or resources. For example:

    Maybe a leadership training program finds that students are not developing leadership skills at a level of mastery expected of them, as evidenced by their participation in a group project. Perhaps the training process needs to seem more accessible to students, so the program decides to restructure itself as peer-led rather than staff-led.
    Maybe a registrar's office finds students are not receiving approval on their degree audit as quickly as they need to in order to register on time, as evidenced by the lapse between audit submission and completion. Perhaps the degree audit workflow needs to be more efficient, so the office decides to automate some processes with the acquisition of a new database.
    Maybe an office of athletics finds that students participating in several sports do not feel their coaches do a good job of building team spirit and morale, as evidenced by a yearly satisfaction survey. Perhaps coaches need to develop their skills in this area, so the office initiates an annual coach development retreat over the summer.
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