In the beginning of 2008, the Office of Assessment staff updated the strategic plan to reflect new priorities and initiatives for the period from 2008-2010. A history of assessment strategic planning is available below.
1. Use effective assessment practices to evaluate and optimize student learning in all settings as an essential aspect of a vibrant university seeking to meet the needs of the 21st century student.
The first priority identifies the necessity of continuing to emphasize principles of assessment “best practice”. The collection of valid and reliable data for decision-making purposes is dependent on the development and implementation of effective assessment tools and procedures. This priority reflects the importance of systematically reviewing assessment practices being implemented so that the most accurate data about student learning is obtained.
2. Use a continuous systematic assessment to enhance student learning and to assist in the establishment of priorities, facilitate planning, and align resources to improve programs.
The second priority focuses on the importance of using the assessment data to assist with making decisions regarding establishment of instructional priorities, facilitating planning, and aligning resources to foster enhanced instruction and learning.
3. Implement benchmarking standards to define, measure, and enhance student learning.
The third priority focuses on utilizing benchmarking standards as a methodology for defining quality of student work and establishing targets for successfully meeting program outcomes. Adoption of this strategy will enable faculty to clearly define their own success levels and facilitate planning.
4. Implement an assessment reporting system to simplify and enrich the assessment process.
The fourth priority identifies the need to establish and maintain a system that allows for the documentation of assessment of student learning at various levels of the university including at the course section level, course level, department/program level, college level, and institution level. This system should allow the hierarchical linking of outcomes so that assessment at one level can support outcomes at a higher level. This should allow us to systematically document the relationship between assessment of and improvement in student learning as they relate to the outcomes at the various levels.
5. Maintain a public reporting system of student learning outcomes as a way to be accountable to stakeholders.
In response to calls for universities to become more transparent about student learning outcomes, UNK will post assessment plans, reports and instruments at the departmental/program level. University-wide assessment results (such as the NSSE and CAAP) and uses of this data will be publically available. Every effort will be made to be sure that assessment data is available and easy to find for stakeholders such as faculty, students, parents, and administration.
In closing, these priorities will guide implementation of initiatives during the next two years. The intent is to further promote the relevance and utility of assessment.
- Develop a unified approach for systematically assessing student learning in all settings. (P #1, P #4)
- Support implementation of effective assessment practice at all levels (campus-wide to individual courses). (P #1)
- Promote continuous systematic assessment and utilization of data that assists with strategic planning processes. (P # 2, P #4)
- Develop benchmarks linked to student outcomes which enhance program development and student learning. (P #3)
- Implement and maintain WEAVEonline, an assessment reporting solution. (P #4)
- Continuously improve our assessment website to allow for easy access to assessment materials (e.g. reports, data, and resources) for all stakeholders (P#5, P#1)
- Encourage and provide support to faculty to who engage in assessment focused on a particular area of interest/concern (P#2).