Administrators and faculty at most colleges and universities
already engage in a broad array of organizational and administrative activities
designed to support and promote the student assessment strategy of their
institution. This section of the toolkit is intended to provide users
with three different tools for diagnosing their institution's current
approach to and support for student assessment, as well as guidelines
for designing an organizational and administrative support pattern that
works. The three diagnostic tools are:
- an Institutional Self-assessment of Organizational Patterns,
- a guide to Conducting an Institutional Case-study, and
- an instrument for Measuring Campus Climate for Student Assessment.
Using the results of these tools, a set of guidelines for Building
Support Systems That Work can be used to design or improve student
assessment strategy. The tools are based on a strategy developed using
findings from our national study.
The following four sections can be used to develop an institutional assessment
strategy. Proceeding through each section will provide an understanding
of the components of their current organizational pattern and identifying
strategies, organizing patterns, and administrative or management activities
in order to design or revise a more successful organizational and administrative
strategy to support and promote student assessment.
- Getting Started: An Institutional Self-assessment
of Organizational Patterns helps users analyze their institution's
current student assessment approaches, and their organizational and
administrative patterns of support for, assessment management policies
and practices related to, academic decision-making uses of, and institutional
impacts of student assessment.
The Inventory of Institutional Support for Student Assessment (ISSA,
1999) is a survey instrument that was developed as part of the NCPI
Project 5.2 national study. It guides users in assessing their own institution's
organizational patterns of student assessment. They can also compare
their patterns to those of other similar institutions (see Student
Assessment by Differing Institutional Types). Users can then design
or improve their institution's organizational and administrative patterns
based on these results.
- Conducting an Institutional Case Study
provides users with a guide for conducting a case study of their own
institution. It is designed to help identify and understand how an institution's
student assessment strategy and efforts are developed and implemented
and how the eight domains (see Conceptual
Framework) for student assessment influence the institutional efforts
for conducting student assessment. The suggested interview list, interview
protocols, and documents to be examined are provided as a suggested
guide for collecting information for the case study.
- Measuring Campus Climate for Student
Assessment helps users gauge faculty and administrator's perceptions
of the institution's student assessment effort. The Institutional
Climate for Student Assessment (ICSA, 2000) is a survey instrument
that was developed as part of NCPI Project 5.2 and can assist user's
evaluation of their campus climate for student assessment. This can
help identify areas that need special attention in order to implement
successfully an institutional student assessment strategy.
- Building Support Systems That Work
is designed to provide some general guidelines and suggestions for designing
an institution's approach to student assessment and their organizational
and administrative patterns for supporting and promoting it that are
most likely to enhance their use of student assessment data for academic
improvement and to assure its positive impact on the institution. Presented
in this section are a comprehensive list of student assessment approaches,
institution-wide patterns, and organizational / administrative policies
and practices that have a positive impact on the use of student assessment
data for educational improvement. These findings can be viewed as guidelines
to improve organizational and administrative support systems for campus
student assessment or they can be used in conjunction with the diagnostic
tools (Sections I, II, and III) to design or redesign an institution's
student assessment efforts.
- Building a Student Assessment Culture
is the eventual goal for any institution hoping to promote and support
student assessment and its use in educational and faculty-related decisions
and its positive impact on faculty teaching, student learning, and campus
reputation and image. While building a culture goes beyond tinkering
with strategies, leadership, and management policies and practices,
these areas do contribute to a more positive comprehensive climate of
student assessment that can eventually help to shape the culture.