Are My Teaching Activities Making a Difference?

Practical Strategies for Assessing Student Learning

As faculty members, we expend significant time and effort designing quality educational experiences, but may find ourselves wondering, “Are any of these activities making a difference?”

As Trudy Banta and her colleagues noted in their book, Assessment in Practice, “while faculty routinely assess the achievement of individual students for the purpose of assigning grades and giving students information about their personal strengths and weaknesses, most [faculty] have had little formal training in measurement or evaluation that would prepare them for these assessment responsibilities” (1996, p. 297, italics added). This lack of training is complicated by the fact that, as Linda Suskie notes in her book Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide, “most faculty do not want to spend an excessive amount of time on assessment” (2009, p. xxiv).

At UofL, much work has been done through the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and through Ideas to Action (i2a), the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan, to provide the training and support that faculty need to be effective in measuring student learning.

We invite you to join in the ongoing conversation by joining i2a’s resident assessment expert, Dr. Cathy Bays, for this nuts and bolts session designed to introduce you to practical and time-effective strategies that you can adapt and use to improve student learning.

At the completion of this program you will be able to:

  • Identify fundamental principles of effective learning assessment
  • Describe the goals and key features of 2-3 common assessment strategies
  • Adapt one or more assessment strategies for use within your own teaching context

Session Date

  • 3/7/2014

    Friday, 12-2 p.m.
    Delphi Center Lab
    This class has been cancelled.

NOTE: "This session was rescheduled from 1/21/2014 due to inclement weather."

Facilitator Bios

Cathy Bays, Ph.D., brings a wealth of experience in assessment, teaching, and curricular enhancement to her role as Ideas to Action (i2a) specialist for assessment. She served as a faculty member in the School of Nursing for 15 years and as director of the Undergraduate Program for five years. She is currently coordinating unit and university i2a assessments.

Cheryl Gilchrist, Ed.D., executive director of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, supports and assists academic units and other campus offices in initiatives designed to result in continuous quality improvement of programs, services, and educational experiences. She currently coordinates university-wide learning assessments and provides technical support and consultation to assist units in assessing student learning outcomes.

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