Monthly Archives: March 2013

Assessment Workshop at the Bartilucci Center

The first Assessment workshop (take a look at the presentation)  took place yesterday at the Bartilucci Center.  This workshop was presented by Dr. Marc Gillespie with an audience of Physician Assistant, Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Radiologic Sciences majors.  The presentation was primarily concerned with conveying the assessment structure of the college, how students can become involved in assessment, and the power of assessment in students’ lives.  It is important to convey to students how assessment initiatives will not only impact their current lives as students but will continue to be important after graduation. It is partly through exit interviews and other assessments that the reputation and strength of the college is maintained.  The directors of each program also spoke and conveyed to students how assessment is involved in their specific program.

The Office of Assessment is in the process of sending a survey to students in order to gauge their reaction to the workshop.  This survey will hopefully show that students were engaged in the presentation and learned more about the assessment process as a result.  The Office of Assessment is also hoping to gain information that will improve the content and delivery of the presentation for the future.

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Our Culture of Assessment Progress with Students

We are currently in the throes of rolling out several parts of our ongoing efforts to improve our culture of assessment within the College in terms of student involvement. As we are moving forward with each of the following parts of this process, I think we are starting to see a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, students will begin to not only understand assessment, but embrace it.

1. Culture Surveys – We are now rolling out Step 2 of our Culture of Assessment Surveys. First, we interviewed faculty on the culture of assessment, and found that faculty were simply unaware of the student body’s understanding and thoughts on assessment. Because of this, we decided to survey all students in the College on the assessment culture. This survey is currently running, and hopefully, we can garner some ideas concerning the best ways to improve the assessment process, and what students think about it.

2. Assessment Workshops – We are having our first Assessment Workshop for students next week. The first workshop will be only for Physician Assistant, Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Radiologic Sciences majors. Focusing on only these programs and how assessment fits in, the Office of Assessment along with the appropriate program directors will discuss with students what we are doing in assessment and what we are planning to do next in regard to their programs.

3. An Assessment Campaign – We are creating posters to be put up in our College’s two locations, in an effort to draw student attention to the assessment process. Our goal remains at this point, to make them aware that we need their help when it comes to feedback and surveys. The short term goal of this process is overall higher survey response rates, while the more long-term goal is fostering the culture.

We are hopeful that the assessment culture will continue to grow, and that these three ideas currently being rolled out will help. There are many more things that can be done, and several in  the conversation now. Hopefully, we can become more involved in this area, and bring students further into the fold. The idea is that by the time they get here:

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…they will have not only participated in our Assessment practices, but will have embraced the process as intrinsic to not only our success, but their professional development as well.

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“And That Concludes Our Presentation”…

Graduates

When we ask students what drives them crazy, they sometimes respond that they wish we had given them a packet describing everything they would have to do to graduate.

There is, and we do tell them. The thing here is continuity of service. They start getting these packets from day 1, before they even sign on to the college. Some things are verbal, some things are written. All get repeated.

The problem with being a student is the continuity. Most students don’t realize that the program that they are in is fluid, so students admitted the year before and students admitted the year after may well have a different curriculum and requirements.

This shocks students. It is their education, it seems to the students that it is a giant monolithic event, one unchanged path towards a degree. Yet for faculty and administrators the curriculum and requirements are a fluid space, different for almost every year.

So back to continuity, how do we take the two perspectives and bring them into one place, where students are satisfied and faculty understand. Students should allows have access to a forward and backward look across their own curriculum and requirements, but currently that takes some work to figure out.

Yes, I can hear you thinking, as a school we already have allot of this functionality, but we don’t use it.

The Rx system we use here, or really, any portfolio system could be used this way, students get a pre-formatted space when they arrive. Pre-formatted in the sense that their handbook goes from a dead pdf online to a more interactive space that they (the student) fill with their grades and accomplishments, as it fills, they can check items off and see how close (or far) they are from reaching their goals, that year, that rotation, ultimately graduation.

Tough request, but there are places were we could do a better job. Since students get packaged by “year of entry” we could probably use the same system as is in place now, but we would improve the continuity for the student by moving it to a live space online where they could look at it when they are ready.

We tell them everything they will have to do in the beginning of their first year, but all they hear is “and that concludes our presentation”. Towards the end they ask us what is it that they have to do and are they almost done, but all we hear is our own perspective whispering, “they didn’t listen”.

That is the divide that we have to cross.

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