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2021 Pre-Conference Workshops

The pre-conference workshops will be held on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, before the opening plenary later in the afternoon. These workshops are offered as an optional experience to conference attendees and are separately priced. All-pre-conference workshops will be half day. 

We are also excited to present once again this year the AALHE Assessment Institute. A two-day, three-session workshop that provides attendees a mix of theory and practice while building upon or creating the foundation for the assessment work at their own institution. 

Linguistic Discrimination and the Oral Ability - Is Your Rubric Producing Inequity?

Oral communication skills are a component of many colleges’ and universities’ assessment plans for good reason - they are listed in the top 10 attributes sought by employers in a 2019 report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Rubrics for assessing these skills, however, often allow for linguistic discrimination and prejudice to affect the scoring. They often ask the reader to evaluate the speaker’s pronunciation, articulation, and/or grammar, with an unspoken assumption that there is only one language that is “appropriate” or “effective” in speaking contexts, the “standard” language. Mirroring the general public, higher education is steeped in Standard Language Ideology, which is the belief that there is a “standard” variety of a language that is superior to other varieties of that language (Lippi-Green 2012). This belief has been widely debunked by linguists and educators.

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The Untold Story of Assessment: Creating a Culture that Works for You

This workshop is relevant, especially in today’s environment, as assessment is becoming a key to the success of an institution in delivering effective learning, demonstrating student engagement and growth throughout the learning journey, and establishing the value proposition for higher education. Accrediting bodies are looking for direct and multi-measure evidence of how formative and summative assessments can improve attainment of students learning outcomes in their journey at the institution and beyond. This workshop is designed to guide participants in creating a culture of assessment at the university level. Presenters will discuss approaches that target various levels of the university ecosystem, including university administration, deans, faculty, student affairs staff, students and others. The workshop will also highlight how the university implemented and onboarded a new assessment management system in a holistic manner across 9 schools and divisions that are decentralized and operate as semi-independent entities. Lastly the audience will be invited to share experiences with the presenters and will benefit from feedback given by the presenters and the audience on how to maximize and improve their processes.

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Assessment 101: A Practical Guide for Non-Academic Unit Assessment

Although student learning is directly affected by instruction in the classroom, it is indirectly affected by the processes, services, and resources of the operational/administrative support units of an institution. Because these units have great impact on the environment and tools of the classrooms, the goals/objectives of these units must be assessed on a continuous basis. In addition, MSCHE Standards of Accreditation requires an institution to continuously assess and improve its programs and services (Standard VI). However, many institutions struggle to create a culture of administrative unit assessment that is systematic, organized, and sustainable. Misconceptions about what assessment is and how administrative unit assessment is relevant to the overarching effectiveness institutional mission, goals, and objectives are the principal barriers to this. This workshop will provide step-by-step guidelines to create a framework for developing and successfully implementing an organized, systematic and sustainable non-academic unit assessment geared to improve institutional effectiveness.

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AALHE Assessment Institute

By creating a network, participants will have access to each other, the facilitators, and many other resources long after the end of the program. Recognizing that each institution has a different mission and culture, this Institute will provide a framework for ways to better understand how to use information and data to inform decision making. The facilitators will work to use examples from many different types of institutions and will encourage dialogue among all participants in order to model good practices for determining how, when, and why to use assessment. Participants will leave with handouts of all slides, case studies, and templates. In addition, references, lists and other resources will be shared during the session and in communications following the institute. Institutions are encouraged to send more than one person to of this Institute, but all participants will benefit from making new connections for future communications and shared resources.

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