June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.1217.1 - 7.1217.6
Uncovering Obstacles to the Assessment Momentum
E. W. Nault, Ph. D., M. S . Leonard, Ph. D., P.E., J. Joseph Hoey, Ed.D. Clemson University/Georgia Institute of Technology
Abstract Why is the practice of assessment inconsistently applied across engineering programs within the same university and among engineering disciplines across the country? Engineering Criteria 2000 1 which mandates programmatic assessment was initially adopted for application in 1996. Yet, six years after the adoption of the new criteria, why do we still experience high levels of faculty resistance to program assessment? This interactive presentation uses a practical approach to identify barriers to on-going assessment practices, to explore issues of trust by rating assessment methods, and to provide suggestions to make assessment strategies more useable. Observations and suggestions from institutional research professionals and engineering faculty are incorporated in the presentation.
Overview Introduction Professional, regional and state evaluation mandates require institutions to systematically assess student learning in engineering curricula. This session presents recent findings in assessment obstacle analysis and provides an interactive experience in obstacle identification. Attendees will investigate barriers to sustaining assessment, report perceived weakness in selected commonly used assessment methods, and identify practical strategies to increase faculty trust in the data acquired from these methods.
Leadership is critical to establishing a foundation of trust as exhibited by shared concern and decision-making, reliability, open communication and explanations, and benevolence 2, 3, 4. Campus leadership must manage trust by maintaining constancy of purpose a nd reliability of action 5, 6. Of course, open communications, commitment to common goals, leadership, budget practices, allocation of time, rewards, and other barriers to embracing assessment are critical to the development and maintenance of organizational trust 7, 8 . Unfortunately, the faculty of an academic department has few opportunities to effect institutional change. The importance of this research is to identify approaches that faculty can use to overcome barriers of limited or no trust which deter sustained programmatic assessment. The focus is on activities or strategies that faculty can use to take corrective action. With this in mind, the research examines the assessment questions, methods, and data rather than motives of assessment.
Workshop Process The University Assessment Committee at a southern research institution was interested in the culture of assessment as the university embarked on its self-study process for regional reaffirmation of accreditation. The Committee engaged in an environment scan resulting in a recommendation to further examine the perception of assessment and enhancing institutional effectiveness. Through the support of a newly appointed president, the Office for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment developed a workshop that included the deans, department chairs, and faculty selected by the department chairs. The participants identified
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Hoey, J. J., & Nault, E., & Leonard, M. (2002, June), Uncovering Obstacles To The Assessment Momentum Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. https://peer.asee.org/11311
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