DASA Assessment Highlights 2021-2022
Assessment within the Division of Academic and Student Affairs seeks to promote continuous improvement of programs, services, and courses. Each year, through the annual assessment reporting process, DASA units measure their progress towards their outcomes and reflect on ways to enhance their work. This process requires that DASA staff and faculty engage in significant effort to gather data, analyze results, and disseminate and discuss results. This showcase seeks to highlight the best practices DASA units demonstrated in their 2021-2022 assessment activities as described in their report: use of rubrics, inclusion of charts and tables, and taking well-aligned actions. When units engage in best practices, assessment work may be more effective and insightful.
While DASA Assessment applauds the great assessment work many DASA units completed in 2021-2022, this page highlights Academic Support Programs for Student Athletes, Prevention Services, and Office of Undergraduate Courses and Curricula.
Rubrics may help faculty and staff identify the critical components of complex skills and set clear expectations for student performance. Application of rubrics can promote consistency in scoring products.
Highlight: Academic Support Programs for Student Athletes (ASPSA)
ASPSA assessed the outcome, “ASPSA staff will assist student athletes in becoming independent learners.” ASPSA developed a rubric to assess tutors’ communication of key skills in tutoring and student athlete demonstration of independent learning behaviors. Prior to scoring tutor reports, ASPSA staff discussed the rubric and clarified how to score tutor reports. ASPSA staff then divided into pairs; each member of the pair used the rubric to analyze their tutor reports and then met with their counterpart to discuss and come to an agreement on the score for each category on the rubric. Because of the training and preparation, the rubric was effective in identifying areas for improvement in student athlete tutoring. As a result, ASPSA made significant revisions to the student tutor training to improve student athlete independent learning behaviors.
Train staff on how to use the rubric. Score student products together in a ‘norming’ process. Norming will increase your inter-rater reliability.
Using Charts and Tables
Charts and tables display data in easy to interpret formats so that readers can quickly draw conclusions. Charts and tables do not need to be elaborate to be effective.
Highlight: Prevention Services
Prevention Services has seen a dramatic increase in the number of CARES referrals in recent years. Prevention Services used charts and tables in their 2021-2022 assessment report to contextualize and identify trends in referrals. One of their charts visualized when CARES referrals were submitted throughout the year. This chart made it easy for Prevention Services staff to identify when spikes in CARES cases occurred during the year. Tables like this helped staff predict and prepare for times of increased referrals. Another table included in their report detailed how the types of concerns described in CARES reports change from year-to-year. This allowed staff to identify changes and increases in concerning behavior and helped staff develop strategies to address student CARES referrals at NC State. These charts and tables helped them develop specific strategies to address student CARES referrals at NC State and to better explain to campus stakeholders with clear visuals how the increase in CARES referrals is impacting Prevention Services.
Create simple charts and tables in Excel or Google Sheets. Include charts and tables in your annual report and your assessment report as appropriate. Assessment staff can support you in this work!
Taking Well-Aligned Actions
Taking action on assessment data is critical to “close the loop.” Assessing outcomes within your unit loses value if you do not take action to address the areas for improvement identified in the assessment.
Highlight: Office of Undergraduate Courses, Curricula, and Academic Standards (OUCCAS)
OUCCAS assessed the ability of faculty to apply university, state, and federal standards, practices, and guidelines to course and curricular reviews. When they reviewed their assessment data, OUCCAS staff identified that considerable time was spent throughout the year in discussions on standards and best practices to inform committee decisions. OUCCAS recognized that because of turnover in committee membership, the precedence set by former committee members was sometimes lost or forgotten. To address these challenges, OUCCAS made two well-aligned actions. OUCCAS staff invited university experts on different topics to present at the start of the academic year to clarify differences between standards and best practices, and they wrote blog posts on common topics to provide a resource for committee members to reference as needed.
Set aside time in a staff meeting to discuss areas of improvement that you identified in your data, to collectively discuss appropriate action steps, and to check alignment. Ensure your action steps are manageable given your time and resources.