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Vision Statement and Five Year Plan Towards a Culture of Inquiry, 2001 - 2006

Early in its work, the Student Learning Assessment Team decided to focus on student learning assessment at the program level, since this was where support was most needed for collaboration and for clarification of common goals.  With the help of consultant, Barbara Wright, the team learned how to design program goals with measurable objectives, and in separate workgroups, drafted goals for three different programs.  Comparing notes, they discovered that the goals for the separate programs converged on four common themes, which the team decided to call common goals to distinguish them from the program-unique goals of the individual programs.  They then worked on determining appropriate methods of assessment for selected goals.  They decided as a team to concentrate on the development of course-embedded assessment measures.

The plan was to select four to six programs for assessment support each year, and to offer assistance to their program coordinators in clarification of program-unique goals, design of assessment methods, and management of resulting data.  In addition, team members annually collaborated on implementing assessment of one common goal across all programs, collecting and managing the data and interpretation, and suggesting interventions in response to the results. (For the first common goal project, see materials on the assessment of written communication under General Education.)

By the end of five years, the Team had assisted all college programs in their program-specific student learning assessments, and led college-wide assessments of four common general education goals.   The Team has demonstrated a simple pattern that should be replicable and adjustable for future assessment cycles, an ongoing culture of inquiry which enables assessment to serve internal as well as external needs.

The linked pages present the Vision Statement and an illustration of the Five-Year Plan.  You will need Adobe’s Acrobat reader to view these .pdf pages.


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