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2017 Pre-conference Workshops

2017 Pre-Conference Workshops [PDF]

Workshop #1
An Administrator's Guide to Fostering a Faculty-led Assessment Process

Jacob Amidon & Debora Ortloff, Finger Lakes Community College


The conundrum for those of us that are tasked with overseeing an assessment process at a college is that in order for the process to be effective, sustainable and meaningful it must be faculty led, but faculty will not, on their own, embrace the assessment process.   In this workshop we will explore several techniques and tools that can be used to foster a faculty-led assessment environment.  These include how to reframe the act of assessment, building the capacity of the faculty to engage in assessment, creating efficient processes around assessment and managing up to resource and protect the faculty-led process.  Participants will work through several hands-on exercises around these core concepts so they can begin to create their own guide to apply within their own campus context. 


By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to

  • Develop ideas for framing assessment on their campus
  • Create initial targeted professional development plan to support faculty leadership in assessment
  • Map out efficiency improvement ideas to support high quality assessment

Workshop #2
Creating & Assessing Campus Climates that Encourage Civic Learning & Engagement

Robert D. Reason, Iowa State University


After a brief discussion about the connections between campus climates and students’ civic learning and engagement, this session will focus on specific ways institutional leaders can create and assess those campus climates that encourage civic learning and engagement. Although the emphasis of the workshop will be on participant’s campus contexts, we will use data from the Personal and Social Responsibility Inventory (PSRI), an ongoing climate assessment project at over 40 institutions, to examine what we know about these relationships broadly. 


By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to

  • articulate an understanding of how climate shapes learning on college campuses;
  • draw connections between current (and future) campus programs and climates that encourage civic learning and engagement;
  • develop a plan that incorporates campus climate, institutional policies and programs, and student engagement activities to comprehensively assess the development of civic learning outcomes. 

Workshop #3
Ready, Set , Go: The new Middle States Standards and Your Assessment Practice

Jodi Levine, Temple University


Implementation of the new Middle States standards provide an ideal opportunity to reengage your campus in conversations about assessment.  How do your current practices align with the new standards?  Where might you improve? In this workshop we will discuss strategies for using the new standards to renew faculty commitment to the assessment of student learning and reenergize the campus commitment to assessing institutional effectiveness.  


Following this workshops participants will be able to: 

  • Outline how their campuses strengths and weaknesses align with new standards
  • Plan one or more ways to use the new standards to renew campus commitment to assessment.

Workshop #4
Assessment Toolbox: Supercharge the Direct Assessment of Student Services

Michael Sachs, John Jay College


The Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s publication Student Learning Assessment: Options and Resources, Second Edition states “the characteristics of good evidence of student learning include considerations of direct and indirect methods for gathering evidence of student learning.”  Creating direct student learning assessment tools within student support services can be challenging for student service professionals.  Often many student service programs rely solely on indirect assessment techniques such as focus groups, evaluations, satisfaction surveys, NSSE results, etc.

This workshop will explore the direct student learning assessment tools available to Offices of Student Affairs and other services offices on campus. These techniques and tools are both qualitative and quantitative in intention and design.  This workshop will also enable participants to develop program goals, rubrics, and direct student learning outcomes for their student service areas – linked, of course, to their college’s mission and/or strategic plan.  Participants should bring copies of their institutional strategic goals and mission.


At the conclusion of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of direct assessment for planning, resource allocation and student learning.
  • Recognize and understand the differences between direct and indirect assessment in student services.
  • Create direct assessment of Student Learning Outcomes for their individual areas / programs that can be incorporated into assessment plans.

Workshop #5
Leading Change: Tackling Institution, Program, and Individual Challenges that Derail Assessment Initiatives

Catherine Datte, Gannon University

Ruth Newberry, Blackboard Inc.


In keeping with the theme Facilitating Conversations that Matter, this interactive workshop engages participants in conversations focused on successful change initiatives related to assessment. Participants will learn to implement the Kotter change model, prioritize initiatives, solicit support, and develop an implementation plan to move a change initiative toward success. Success involves a thoughtful, realistic project plan, driven by a coalition and supported by a “volunteer army” that can serve as spokes-persons, role models, and leaders to move the effort forward. Participants will also learn from one another successful strategies to overcome barriers and resistance that limit forward movement.

Attendees will document their SWOCh, gaps, and vision with the assistance of the co-presenters Catherine Datte and Ruth Newberry using the Change Leadership Workbook. In a combined approach of information gathering and self-appraisal, attendees will begin to develop their unique implementation plans and receive guidance regarding specific nuances and challenges related to their institution. Throughout the workshop, Catherine and Ruth will award books related to the specific challenges that are often associated with assessment planning, change leadership, and team building. 


This organized approach will enable attendees to:

  • Identify and prioritize critical actions associated with best practices in program or institution assessment along with documenting practical action steps;
  • Learn strategies from peers and share challenges and successes; and
  • Create individualized action steps that drive their assessment process