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Emerging Issues in Assessment

ADME Conference, 4/1/16

Debbie Creamer

on 1 April 2016

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Transcript of Emerging Issues in Assessment

Emerging Issues
in Assessment

Emerging concerns...
ADME Conference, 4/1/16
debbie creamer
association of theological schools
twitter: @drdcreamer
Theological schools, in general, have been attentive to
individual student
individual course
Now that we're being more intentional, assessment often seems to be happening at a "B" level"
Theological schools, in general, have been slow to engage in
degree program
How might we think (and act) differently?
My commitments:
assessment is a natural, scholarly act
For example: "This DMin is a cohort-based and contextually-focused program that aims to give ministry professionals the capacities to serve their communities more effectively."
Learning outcomes not only allow you to engage in degree program assessment but also serve as important points of communication to stakeholders
Which school is this? Is it yours?
Why should students choose your program?
Student Outcomes vs. Student Learning Outcomes ( graduation and placement rates matter -- but not always as indicators of student learning)
Assessment for Assessment's Sake (Why do we do it? Because we're supposed to!)
Educational Standard, section ES.6.1: "An effective plan of assessment should be as SIMPLE and SUSTAINABLE as possible while adequate to answer fundamental questions about educational effectiveness."
Are you learning anything from your assessment process? Does it stimulate your curiosity and creativity? Can it surprise you?
assessment can be fun
assessment helps us in our work
assessment supports diverse learners
assessment nurtures mission
Descriptive AND Aspirational
Does your program's self-description match with the experience your students
and alums are having?
Can you tell how "small" changes impact the educational experience? Where are your warning lights? How do you know what needs to change? How do you know what
to celebrate?
"Did you teach an effective course this semester?"
"I don't know. I think so"
"Well, what was the intention of the course? Like, what were students supposed to learn, or what skills were they supposed to acquire?"
"I don't know. We never stated that. It *feels* like I taught well, though"
Close the loop!
Again, we can't all be good at everything, or meet every need or wish or request.
How do you invest in those areas, and let go of other things?
What makes your program unique, important, strong, valuable, distinctive, worthwhile?
This includes defining -- and, assessing -- things that seem to be "intangibles"
We want our students to have a particular experience that they can then build on...
or, develop a particular characteristic...
or, have an outcome in a few years...
(It doesn't all have to be content knowledge
or "testable")
Additional Resources:
Educational Standard, section ES.6
(See also DMin Standards, section E.1)
Self-Study Handbook, ch 7
Checklist for Effective Assessment
So... what can assessment help you do?
Full transcript