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Fall in Love with Assessment!
Fall is here! The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing color, and the semester is in full swing. Now is a great time to get to more familiar with assessment, and we're here to help.
Final Assessment Breakfast

The Office of Assessment, in collaboration with ACERT, will continue our series of interactive workshops open to faculty and staff. Join us for our final breakfast of the fall semester.

Ask the students! Design a small-scale survey.

Wednesday, December 9th
10:00 am - 11:30 AM
Charlotte Frank Room (1203 East)

Surveys can be a great way to find out what students are thinking in order to improve teaching or services. But without careful preparation, you’re likely to end up with a bunch of data that looks good but tells you squat! Come learn best practices for small-scale survey design; bring your own projects-in-process.

Spotlight on Assessment: Kirsten Grant, PhD, Chemistry Department

The Office of Assessment sat down with Kirsten Grant, a new faculty member in the Chemistry department, to talk about assessment. Here is what she had to say:

Why is assessment important to you?

Assessment is the way that I can determine how well my students are learning or not. It is also a way to gauge how well I am providing students with the information they need to learn.

What has surprised you about assessment?

There are so many different ways to assess students; assessment is as much for determining student learning as it is for gauging my ability to transfer information. Each assessment can be designed to do one, the other, or both. I was surprised to learn that assessment in the classroom can be used to develop research on pedagogy and best practices.

Assessment Q & A

Question: What is the difference between checklists, rating scales and rubrics?

Answer: A checklist is the simplest form of a scoring guide, indicating whether a certain criterion has been met or not. Rating scales take that one step further, indicating the degree of accomplishment rather than just completion. Rubrics articulate specific criteria that include descriptions of levels of performance quality on the criteria. So the main difference between checklists and rating scales and rubrics is that the first two lack descriptions of performance quality.

If you are interested in learning more about rubrics, check out our website or attend our workshop.

What about assessment are you excited about working on in the future?

I am developing a research project that highlights student response systems. I am going to compare student mastery of one learning outcome from my classes in which I did not use the technology to my CHM110 course this semester in which I do utilize this technology. I will be looking at the long-term affects of the use of this technology on student learning. I will use the same exam questions to assess the effect that iClickers has on this learning outcome.

I am excited about the opportunity to really be able to have the time to align my assessments - from homework, to quizzes, to exams - specifically to learning outcomes for each chapter and the course overall. 

As an adjunct at four schools, teaching seven courses a semester, it was very hard for me to take time to carefully plan my curriculum based on true outcomes and then assess student learning directly related to such outcomes. This will help me to become a better teacher and more able to determine my strong and weak points - where I have some gaps in my own understanding that may translate to the students as well - so that I can improve my skills as a chemistry educator.

The Office of Assessment works with faculty and staff across the College to help them explore student learning and success in their courses, departments, programs, and offices.

Visit us online, by phone at x6299, by email, or drop by 1008 East Bldg.

Assessment Cycle

Newsletter No. 8, November, 2015