Five Key Concepts for Leveraging the Expanded Data Layer
By tapping into the campus-wide data layer, colleges and universities can uncover new information to strengthen institutional effectiveness. Here are five key concepts to guide a new approach centered on data-informed decision making:
Changing Your Relationship with Data: New Opportunities for Institutional Effectiveness
This white paper explores the value of the expanded data layer on campus. By leveraging their data ecosystem, colleges and universities can uncover new information to strengthen their institutional effectiveness.
Free the Data: Engaging Student Affairs Staff in Moving Toward a Culture of Evidence
Strategic Planning in the division of student affairs can sometimes hit a wall. Once a division has moved beyond the development of goals, objectives and learning and program outcomes, and is collecting data in a robust and systematic way, it can sometimes be difficult to keep staff engaged in the planning and assessment process in meaningful and actionable ways. And, at times, the strategic planning, budgeting, and assessment processes can continue to operate on separate tracks and be carri...
Harnessing Faculty Power with Better Outcomes Assessment
In today’s higher education environment, faculty regularly find themselves being pulled in more directions than ever. No longer debating whether they should be a sage on the stage or a guide by their students’ side, faculty now are asked to think about their roles in admissions, retention, graduation rates, and student success. Beyond the long-standing faculty triad of teaching, research, and service, the all-hands-on-deck approach to finding students, keeping them enrolled, and then assuring...
Connecting Student Affairs Assessment, Resources, & Trends with SAAL
Join us for an introduction to Student Affairs Assessment Leaders (SAAL), an organization that brings together educators who coordinate student affairs assessment initiatives. In this webinar, a panel of SAAL members discussed current projects, helpful resources, and professional development opportunities through SAAL. Panelists also shared their thoughts on the future of the field of student affairs assessment.
Embracing a Framework for Student Learning Outcomes
A well-articulated learning outcome statement is key to both achieving and measuring learning. If you can’t specify what your students will know or be able to do as a result of a course, program, or other intervention, then what hope do they have of actually accomplishing it? Similarly, measurement requires a precise understanding of what the outcome should look like – almost the ability to close your eyes and imagine the achieved learning outcome in full color and sound.
Create Meaningful, Measurable, and Manageable Outcomes
When designing learning outcomes, clarity is key. Clear learning outcomes answer the ‘why’ behind your courses and programs. They confirm what your campus is all about. It’s therefore important to clarify intentions, articulate expectations for student success, and understand how your outcomes will be measured. Clear learning outcomes inspire greater contributions to the big picture and support program review, accreditation, and general education programs.
Advancing Innovation of Teaching and Learning with a More Holistic Approach
In our fourth episode, JD White, PhD, talks with Ken Ryalls, PhD, about shifting the paradigm for teaching and learning. Most current approaches, for instance, emphasize using course evaluations to evaluate a faculty member instead of focusing on professional development to improve instruction methods. Ken advocates a holistic system that neither ignores nor overemphasizes student feedback, and rewards classroom engagement, improved teaching, healthy risk-taking, and a pursuit of innovation. ...
Make Rubrics a Best Practice at Your Institution
A well-designed rubric is an indispensable tool in learning assessment. Academic and student affairs leaders are increasingly using rubrics to provide a shared language for learning and a systematic approach to capturing rich learning data. Rubrics are a scalable assessment method that can be used by anyone – instructors, advisors, programs, departments, colleges, and entire institutions – to better understand student success and uncover opportunities to improve.
Closing the Assessment Loop: Making Informed Decisions
Imagine booking a trip but never getting on the plane, or buying a movie ticket but never walking into the theater. Or what if you fully planned a program, but you never executed it? Barring environmental or extraneous factors, it's hard to imagine not following through in these scenarios. Now, think about learning valuable information through an assessment project, but never using it. This should be equally unfathomable. The data collected in our assessments should be meaningful by informing...
Student Affairs Program Review Made Simple
Does program review seem overwhelming? Not sure where to start? At Virginia Tech, we’ve been using the CAS (Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education) Standards for the last seven years to guide our student affairs program review process. Join us to learn how we’ve created a successful program review process. In 30 minutes we keep it simple: tips and tricks to get started, acknowledgement of challenges, and the benefits of conducting program review using the CAS Standards.
Developing Employable Skills: Assessing the Needs of First-Generation Students
First-generation college students are a growing, yet under-studied, population for higher education. The 2015 Project CEO benchmarking study identified 27% of respondents as first-generation students. Data from the first-generation group indicated lower skill attainment in co-curricular experiences when compared to non-first-generation responses. What does this mean for the ways we support first-generation student needs in relation to developing employable skills? Utilizing Project CEO data, ...
Strategic Planning in Student Affairs: Theory and Practice
According to Bresciani (2010), the “strategic plan represents the ideal of what the institutional leadership desires to achieve” (p. 39). Traditionally, however, strategic planning has often been viewed as an intimidating and difficult process leading to a document that may sit on a shelf (or be stored on a flash drive) and not be used in organizational decision-making processes. Using Bresciani’s Seven Practical Steps to ensuring data-driven planning, this webinar provides theory, tips, and ...
Building a Strong Foundation for Student Learning Assessment
Assessment of student learning outcomes is essential to the co-curricular experience and student success. Still, embarking on a division-wide initiative to develop a comprehensive set of learning outcomes and a solid assessment process for student affairs can be overwhelming. Where to begin and who to involve? What resources exist, how do you build staff competencies, and what should the process and support look like? These are all central elements to contemplate. In this webinar, participant...
Engage, Learn, Succeed: Collecting Data to Enhance the Student Experience
At the University at Albany, the Division of Student Affairs works with campus partners to enhance the student experience. Our mission is to prepare students to live, learn, and lead, thereby developing skills to thrive in an increasingly complex, diverse, and global society. We invite you to explore our Office of Student Learning and Assessment’s framework for data collection, which centers on connecting student engagement and learning with success metrics. Using our Student Learning Project...
Engagement & Employability: From Student Leader to CEO
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has identified the 10 most desirable skills employers seek in new college graduates. From teamwork to problem solving to influence, what role can outside-the-classroom experiences play in the development of these skills? Using data from the 2015 and 2016 Project CEO benchmarking study, this webinar explores how students perceive the impact of various co-curricular experiences including student clubs and organizations, campus employment...
Beyond Assessment Management: Shifting your focus to progress, not process
As pressure for institutions to make data-informed decisions increases, it’s no longer enough just to manage the assessment process—the stakes are too high. It’s time for assessment leaders to approach assessment through a new lens, one focused on progress and not process. Listen as Casey Iannone and JD White, PhD, urge assessment leaders to go beyond managing systems and processes and consider the possibilities of an assessment platform as a powerful pathway for guiding change and action.
More Is More: Multiple Measures for Better Assessment
What if in order to receive your driver’s license, all you needed to do was pass a written test? The road would be a very dangerous place. Personally, I feel much better knowing that the driver in the next lane went through multiple measures (a written test, driver education course, required minimum hours of driving experience...
Want a Manageable Outcomes Assessment Process? Keep Three Things in Mind.
Documenting student learning outcomes isn’t a simple process nor is it really approachable for many faculty and staff. It’s easy to know the student got a correct answer to a mathematical equation like 2 + 2 = 4. But, as students advance in school, the outcomes they’re exposed to also get more complex; naturally, the process to measure these outcomes increases in complexity.
Easy Isn’t Enough: Making the Assessment Process Meaningful
Friday is trash day at my house. Every Thursday evening, I break down the recycling, fill the cans, and roll them down to the end of my driveway. It's easy because someone gave me the cans, put wheels on them, and promised to stop by every Friday morning and take it all away. But I don't put the trash out just because someone made the process easy for me. I do it because I want a clean home.
The Five W’s of Benchmarking
Good data is an indispensable resource for higher education. Put campus data in context, and its value increases dramatically. In fact, a larger context, achieved through benchmarking, can help faculty and staff assess student learning and the effectiveness of their programs over time.
A New Outlook on Outcomes
In our second episode, JD White, Ph.D., talks with Shannon LaCount, Ed.D., Director of Campus Success, about the value of a thoughtfully considered assessment approach. Shannon presents the concept of learning outcomes assessment as so much more than an administrative task. When structured effectively, assessment can clearly demonstrate if, and how well, students have learned– and why this matters. Previously the Director of Student Learning Assessment at the University of Minnesota Duluth, S...
Learn from Your Outcomes
Student learning outcomes are an important data set that must be incorporated into an institution’s educational intelligence ecosystem. Simply linking outcomes to courses and departments is not enough to drive the level of progress needed to transform institutions. What’s needed is a change in how student learning outcomes are perceived, how instructive data is used, and who is given access to it. Only then will institutions truly be able to gain valuable insights for faculty, learners, and l...
The Future Is Now with Data Science
In our premiere podcast, JD White, Ph.D., V.P., Product Development and a self-proclaimed data geek, talks with Data Scientist Steve Simpson, Ph.D., about higher ed’s “data moment.” A former economics professor and a new addition to the Campus Labs team, Steve explains the role of data science in his academic research as well as its power to help transform administrative efficiencies at colleges and universities.