Assessment efforts at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa strive to help departments meet learning objectives the departments have set for themselves. As part of these efforts, departments have designed Program Learning Outcome (PLOs) for the departments as a whole, and individual faculty members have established Student Learning Outcome (SLOs) for the classes they teach; the SLOs are coordinated with the PLOs. Collecting data to assess how well the SLOs and PLOs are met has proven problematic though, in large part because the data collection effort is widely viewed as an additional workload increase for faculty, who are already stretched thin with research, teaching, administrative, and community service responsibilities. Unsurprisingly, many faculty are inclined to collect and provide small amounts of data. If the data are too meager, however, then an assessment that is both useful and fair is not possible. To deal with this, the Department of Geology and Geophysics is asking individual faculty members to provide a subset of data they regularly collect anyway as a normal part of the their grading procedures; in this sense no new data are required. In one-on-one meetings with the department’s assessment coordinator, instructors identify a suite of student responses (e.g., particular exam questions, particular laboratory assignments, parts of writing assignments, etc.) that would be appropriate and sufficiently comprehensive to assess how well the course is meeting its SLOs. The initial feedback has been that this approach is reasonable in terms of the time required and is perceived as fair. by Stephen J. Martel
Martel, S. (2016, April). A time-effective and fair way to collect assessment data. Poster session presented at the Assessment for Curricular Improvement Poster Exhibit at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI.