[sorry...this posting is still under construction...taking me a lot longer to complete it than I thought]
You may know the Atlantic Assessment Conference in its earlier form: The NCSU Undergraduate Assessment Symposium. The program announces that some things are the same, and some are different. I’ve been here twice before, and believe that it’s a very good conference in terms of content (learnings) and networking. I’m looking forward to this year’s model to experience the same (hopefully) and the new.
The first thing I did was attend the pre-conference workshop (Sunday 4/11 – 9:00-12:00): The Use of Rubrics for Assessment, Grading, and Encouraging Student Learning, presented by Mary Allen of Cal State-Bakersfield. (see my notes below)
Next up was the lunchtime keynote by Randy Swing. He talked about about the role of assessment officers as “choice architects” and “nudging” people for positive change. (see my notes below)
The first afternoon concurrent session was given by Keston Fulcher and Chris Orem of James Madison University. They talked about assessing their assessment plans using a rubric they had developed. (see my notes below)
At 5:00, I gave my presentation on assessing Distance Learning, so I skipped the second concurrent session to do some final tweaking.
On Monday (4/12/10), Mary Allen (the workshop presenter) gave a plenary session on the “Infrastructure for Sustainable Assessment.” She talked about many institutions paying lip service to the notion of continuous assessment cycles, but what she has found is that “assessment efforts wax and wane with the accreditation cycle.” Her thoughts on actually making continuous are discussed below.
The first concurrent session of the day was Assessing Information Literacy. It was offered by Scott Heinerichs & Loretta Rieser‐Danner of West Chester University (PA). They explained their development of an Information Literacy rubric, and how they were applying it at their school (see my notes below).
The next breakout I attended was Making Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment a Part of the Culture, presented by Roger Werbylo, & Shelly Dorsey of Pima Community College (Tuscon, AZ). With 60,000 students, they have quite a few faculty on 5 campuses that need to learn about outcomes assessment, and do it. They talked about their approach to broad and deep professional development.
The final session of the day was a 1.5 hour discussion of the VALUE rubric project through the AACU. The presenter was Terrel Rhodes of AACU. The conversation focused on the process of developing the VALUE rubrics, and included a brief exercise where participants applied one of the rubrics to a writing.
So, here are my notes on each of these sessions…
Sunday April 11
Workshop - The Use of Rubrics for Assessment, Grading, and Encouraging Student Learning – Mary Allen / Cal State-Bakersfield (click here to read her profile)
This turned out to be a good, fast-paced session. We talked about technical items (norm-referenced v. criterion-referenced rubrics…the latter is the way we should be going), point scales in rubrics (Mary advocates for the 4-point scale), ways of developing rubrics and ways to ensure greater inter-rater reliability.
Randy Swing (of the Association of Institutional Research). Randy’s talk was entitled: Assessment Officers as Agents of Change. He framed his talk around making sure that we are indeed providing value ($) to the students and the instructors. He mentioned the ASK (Assessment Skills and Knowledge) Standards developed by ACPA and endorsed by assessment experts on staff at the Association of American College and Universities, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. [btw, there's a three day conference around the issue of assessment in student affairs this June in Charlotte, NC]
In the afternoon, the first concurrent (2:30-3:30)session I’ll be attending is: (CS1) Assessing the Assessment: Communicating Expectations for Academic Programs – Keston Fulcher & Chris Orem.
Notes from the Rubrics Workshop