Back See this section in context: Criterion 3 Core Component 3A
3A.5 Dissemination of Assessment Results
In keeping with learning organization principles, Sauk has a strong commitment to shared governance as well as data-influenced decision making, which has resulted in a culture of assessment that thrives on discussion of assessment findings. In addition, the linkage of the assessment system into the strategic planning system allows the discussion of classroom data to flow seamlessly into academic operational planning and thereby serve as an agent of institutional improvement. However, the system has other constituencies besides faculty, and the self-study finds that the results of assessment are somewhat less available than they should be to these important stakeholders:
- Board: Although the Board of Trustees is kept apprised of and plays an important role in strategic planning and in evaluating the associated data, the Assessment Plan does not indicate any process by which assessment results are directed to the attention of the Board. Certain external data (such as reports of university GPAs) are reported as news items.
- Students: The importance of communicating the process of the assessment system and its value to student learning is described in the Assessment Plan. Indirectly, students are exposed to the system through the outcome-based design of course syllabi and by participation in classroom assessments. Directly, however, students are introduced to the assessment process and the system through two communication methods:
- Syllabus statement: Every syllabus must include the following statement informing students of the college’s assessment program and their own involvement:
Sauk Valley Community College is an institution dedicated to continuous instructional improvement. As part of our assessment efforts, it is necessary for us to collect and analyze course-level data. Data drawn from students’ work for the purposes of institutional assessment will be collected and posted in aggregate, and will not identify individual students. Your continued support in our on-going effort to provide quality instructional services at Sauk is appreciated.
The statement is included as part of both the online and print syllabus templates. A survey of online syllabi showed all full-time faculty were in compliance with the requirement to include the statement (except for one first-year instructor who also omitted other required statements). A sampling of ten adjunct syllabi showed that all ten included the required statement.
- Assessment brochure: Students enrolled in Orientation (PSY 100) are provided a pamphlet that describes assessment and helps them connect to their role in it and the benefits they derive from it. The three-fold pamphlet, designed in association with the 2003 Assessment Plan, describes the goals of the system and how students benefit from that system, with a special emphasis on the importance of the General Education Competencies. Even though the course is closely monitored by Counseling Office staff for consistency, the course outline contains no direct reference to assessment or the pamphlet. Also, in the process of the self-study, the Core Team realized that the pamphlet had been allowed to become outdated, so it is being revised for fall 2011. In addition, an assessment system review checklist now prompts the Team to review the pamphlet so that it can be kept current.
- Public: The FY10 Recommendations for Change section of the Assessment Annual Report calls for improvements in public reporting. The notion that the community stakeholders are interested in or expect student learning results has received little or no attention in either the design of the 2003 system or in the 2010 revised plan. The Core Team became aware of the design flaw in spring 2010 and has recommended creation of a webpage for annual assessment results. At the time the self-study is concluding, no such action has been taken. The college has regularly submitted news releases to the local press about certain external data (for example, university GPA comparisons and CAAP results), but has yet to do any systematic reporting of assessment projects or results.