2020 - Challenge Accepted: Moving Beyond the Institutional Status Quo
Although 2020 began in a relatively normal way, many of our lives were challenged by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in Higher Education. Even in the face of uncertainty, Drexel University maintained committed to bringing together assessment practitioners from across the country and globe with our 7th annual assessment conference "Challenge Accepted: Moving Beyond the Institutional Status Quo." The theme of moving beyond the status quo could not have been more relevant as institutions of higher education pivoted quickly and successfully to meet the needs of our students, faculty, and staff in an assessment arena. Even in a virtual environment, Drexel University provided a robust conference experience to our presenters and attendees that included 4 pre-conference workshops, the AALHE Assessment Institute which had 3 sessions over 2 days, 20 concurrent sessions, 2 networking events, an opening plenary hosted by Andrew Flagel (PhD: President and CEO of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area), a luncheon plenary hosted by Teri Shapiro (PhD: Associate Professor of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Hofstra University), 1 snapshot session that included 4 presentations, and a roundtable discussion titled, "The Effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Higher Education", and an early morning Coffee Talk focusing on regional accreditation. As always, our incredible partnership with AEFIS allowed the conference to provide not only assessment related sessions like a Comprehensive Learner Record "Boot Camp" and a Makerspace session. But also sessions that focused on self-care such as virtual yoga and "Assessment the Musical." While the entire Conference Committee and all of our volunteers enjoy hosting this event in person each year, we saw first-hand that it is not the modality of the conference that determines success. It is our commitment to excellence and to our attendees that drive us each year no matter the obstacles.
2019 Moving from Concept to Practice
“Moving from Concept to Practice” was more than just the theme for the 6th annual conference. It was ingrained in every aspect of the conference including the speakers, pre-conference workshops and the all of the sessions themselves. Along with the 56 concurrent session offerings, 2 snapshot session blocks and 1 workshop session block, the conference also hosted the second version of the AALHE Assessment Institute and a panel on the assessment of work-integrated learning moderated by Dr. Nancy Johnston, the President of the World Association of Co-op and Work Integrated Education (WACE). Dr. Carol A. Hurney (Colby College) spoke about creating learning outcomes for faculty development and Dr. Stephen P. Hundley (IUPUI) spoke about leadership and culture in assessment in higher education. The six pre-conference workshops focused on relevant topics such as “Cognitive Load and Student Success” and “Increasing Equity Using Evidence-Based Assessment. As always, there was more than just presentations, there was a lot of fun. Attendees had the opportunity to eat ice cream and meet Mario the Magnificent, enjoy a visit with the Drexel therapy dogs, spend a night out watching the Phillies as well as enjoy an evening reception at the city’s newest attraction, the Museum of the American Revolution. This beautiful venue offered food and drink, the run of the museum as well as a show surrounding George Washington’s actual field tent.
2018 - Leading a Collaborative Revolution for Change
By all accounts the 5th annual conference, “Leading A Collaborative Revolution for Change” was a ringing success. We hosted 420-+ attendees from 30 states and several foreign countries. We had 155 panelists and presenters and offered 56 concurrent sessions, 2 blocks of snapshot sessions and 2 very well received plenary speakers [Todd Zakrajsek and Jillian Kinzie]. We also offered 5 pre-conference half-day workshops attended by over 80+ registrants, and for the first time aligned with AALHE to offer a sold out Institute for people new to our profession. We also treated our guests to an ice cream social [replete with Mario the Drexel Dragon], a Betsy Ross House Courtyard reception, entertainment by a Jazz Ensemble, special guests President George Washington and Betsy herself, traditional "Philly" snacks [you all now know how to keep the icing on the butterscotch krimpet and not the cellophane], two breakfasts and a very well received plenary luncheon panel in Behrakis Grand Hall showcasing the Presidents of four major Philadelphia institutions, Colleen M. Hancyz, President of La Salle University, President Mark Reed of Saint Joseph’s University, President Donald Generals of the Community College of Philadelphia, and moderated by Drexel’s president, John A. Fry.
2017 - Facilitating Conversations that Matter
The 4th Annual Drexel Assessment Conference entitled "Facilitating Conversations that Matter" consisted of three days of thematically connected activities as five (5) pre-conference workshops scheduled for Wednesday morning, September 13th, 55 interactive sessions, 2 snapshot (5 minute speed) session blocks and three plenaries by accomplished speakers of national and international reputation. Also included was a Thursday luncheon and a special panel discussion featuring the presidents of three regional accrediting bodies; the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. This was a rare opportunity for participants to engage in a dialogue with three regional accreditation leaders on the future of peer review and the increased federal role among other issues.
2016 - Academic Quality: Driving Assessment and Accreditation
The 3rd annual Drexel Conference on Assessment hosted by Drexel University took place on September 7-9, 2016 on campus. Over 420 attendees participated from 28 states and 5 foreign countries [Israel, Pakistan, Canada, Andorra and Morocco]. A total of165 panelists and presenters and offered 56 concurrent sessions along with 2 blocks of snapshot sessions which are groupings of 5 minute sessions presented back to back during a one hour block. Three plenary speakers provided insight and thoughtful discussion. A very strong Drexel Contingent helped to plan, execute and also attended the conference including 26 volunteers to run the conference, 9 presenters and 50 faculty/staff attendees. 6 pre-conference half-day workshops were also attended by over 100+ registrants on Wednesday morning.
2015 - Building Academic Innovation & Renewal
On September 9-11, Drexel University hosted the 2nd annual Conference on Assessment of Teaching and Student Learning entitled Building Academic Innovation and Renewal. The purpose of the conference was to bring together individuals who are interested in the study of teaching and learning in order to share ideas/programs and to network. The sharing of ideas between institutions enriches all and strengthens Higher Education overall. Over 434 attendees, including assessment professionals, provosts, faculty and sponsors, from 137 different institutions attended the event on campus. The robust program contained pre-conference workshops, four plenaries and eight concurrent blocks with a variety of presentations. Overall there was a total of 75 presentations from 137 presenters representing 50 different institutions from 26 states and also from Senegal. The conference showcased Drexel facilities including, the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, Pearlstein Business Learning Center and Gerrie C. LeBow Hall. The full conference also began with a welcoming speech from Drexel’s new Provost, M. Brian Blake in the Mandell Theater.
2014 - Myths & Movements: Reimagining Higher Education Assessment
Against the backdrop of the MSCHE report, the charge given to the planning group for Myths and Movements-Reimagining Higher Education Assessment was to produce a remarkable conference that would be a definitive, affirmative and authentic response to that challenge. Mindful of that charge, the staff sought to create a conference that would be truly unique, restorative and beneficial to all who attend.