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2015 Assessment Conference By Steve DiPietro, Associate Vice Provost
Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness

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 is to bring together individuals who are interested in the study of teaching and learning in order to share ideas and programs and to network.  The sharing of ideas between institutions enriches all and strengthens Higher Education overall.  Over 430 attendees - including assessment professionals, provosts, faculty and sponsors - from 137 different institutions attended the event, which was held on Drexel’s University City campus.  The robust program contained pre-conference workshops, four plenaries and eight concurrent blocks with a variety of presentations. There were a total of 75 presentations from 137 presenters representing 50 different institutions from 26 states and the country of Senegal.  To see the full schedule of programming, click here. The conference showcased Drexel facilities including: the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, Pearlstein Business Learning Center, and Gerrie C. LeBow Hall. The full conference began with a welcoming speech from Drexel’s new Provost, M. Brian Blake.

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 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 they could take back to integrate into their own programs.

In addition, a total of four plenary sessions were held over the course of the conference.  Francisco Marmolejo, Lead Tertiary Education Specialist at the World Bank, gave the opening plenary which addressed the global status of the accreditation of higher education.  Linda Suskie, noted Assessment & Accreditation Consultant, spoke on the current state and future of the assessment of teaching and learning in higher education during.  John Schuh, Director of the Emerging Leaders Academy at Iowa State University, spoke about student life and the increasing call for the assessment of that co-curricular component.  Finally, Sean McKitrick, Vice President of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), spoke about the new MSCHE standards for accreditation and the important role that assessment plays in them.

The third Annual Assessment Conference will take place September 7-9, 2016.