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2015 - Building Academic Innovation & Renewal

A picture of conference attendees with Ben Franklin and Betsy impersonators

In its most recent decennial visit and subsequent report, The Middle States Commission on Higher Education stated that Drexel University “ a remarkable institution that has proven itself by meeting the multifaceted challenges of the past, truly challenging decade. Drexel is now poised not merely to succeed, but to lead. The moment is now Drexel’s to seize.” Against the backdrop of the MSCHE report, and last year’s inaugural conference success, the charge given to the planning committee for Assessment for Student Success-Building Academic Innovation & Renewal, was to produce another remarkable conference that would be a definitive, affirmative and authentic response to that challenge. Mindful of that charge, the committee sought to create a second conference that would be truly unique, restorative and beneficial to all who attend. Judging from the feedback of our attendees we believe that we have succeeded in doing that by providing an enriching and thought provoking professional development experience.

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.

Newly added this year were five pre-conference workshops which ranged in topics from Engaging students and faculty to planning assessment in student life.  Over 108 registrants attended these half day workshops. The extended format gave the participants the opportunity to really delve into the subject matter and have prolonged access to an expert on the topic. Attendees were able to gain valuable information and resources that that they could take back to integrate into their own programs.