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Assessment Resources

Assessment Resources

This page collects some various ways of connecting with assessment including faculty-authored assessment success stories, more information about some of the institution's assessment professionals and practices, and links to external resources.

Fall 2019 Assessment Workshop Series

Beginning in 2019, the Provost's Office and the Teaching and Learning Commons will offer an annual series of workshops on  assessment. The inaugural series will target assessment fundamentals for faculty. Faculty who complete the entire series are eligible to receive special recognition within Digital Measures. The first three workshops planned for fall 2019 are listed below; more details are forthcoming about the workshops for spring 2020 soon!

Registration for the workshops will open in early August.

Assessment Essentials #1:  Getting Started with Assessment

What is it we’re assessing and why? 
Robynn Shannon (Assistant Director of Assessment in the Teaching and Learning Commons) and Lou Slimak (Director of Academic Excellence and Assessment) will introduce workshop participants to the fundamentals of assessing student learning and dispel common misconceptions about assessment before moving on to an interactive, hands-on activity. The short introductory presentation will cover assessment at course, program, and institutional levels, assessment as a key step in backward, integrated course design, and how to use assessment results to improve learning.

Friday, September 6, 10:00-12:00, Downtown Library Room 104   

Thursday, September 12, 2:00-4:00, AER 120

Assessment Essentials #2:  Building Better Courses

How can I improve student learning in my courses? 
This workshop will begin with a short exploration of how courses can become more “learning-centered” through the principles of alignment of learning outcomes, activities, and assessment.  Participants will be invited to contribute their own experiences to a discussion of using assessment results to improve learning.  The workshop will conclude with interactive, hands-on activities for which participants are encouraged to bring a syllabus.  Presented by Robynn Shannon (Assistant Director of Assessment in the Teaching and Learning Commons) and Lou Slimak (Director of Academic Excellence and Assessment).

Friday, October 18, 10:00-12:00, Downtown Library Room 104      

Thursday, October 24, 2:00-4:00, AER 120

Assessment Essentials #3:  Refining Your Course-Level Assessments

How can I improve my assessment of student learning?  Why can’t I just use grades as assessments? 
Incorporating authentic, embedded assessments of student learning into your courses can be challenging.  In this interactive workshop, participants will be introduced to some assessment practices that start them on the road to creating their own embedded assessments.  A brief introductory presentation will be followed with a hands-on activity for which participants are encouraged to bring a syllabus.  Presenters are Robynn Shannon (Assistant Director of Assessment in the Teaching and Learning Commons) and Lou Slimak (Director of Academic Excellence and Assessment).

Friday, November 8, 10:00-12:00, Downtown Library Room 104    

Thursday, November 14, 2:00-4:00, AER 120

Assessment Stories Around WVU

Assessment Success Stories from the Faculty

Assessment Pros, Why Do You Assess?

Robynn Shannon
Assistant Director of Assessment and Quality Assurance, Teaching and Learning Commons, WVU-Morgantown

Several years ago, I asked a realtor friend why he loved his work.  He explained that--whether representing buyer or seller--he got "such a rush" when it all came together and a real estate transaction occurred, knowing that he helped make it happen.

Why do I assess?  Because I love seeing faculty colleagues get excited about their teaching and their students' learning.  I love having them see the power of assessment to make even better learning happen even more.  I love seeing them "get" what assessment can do for their teaching and their students' learning, and their excitement when they do get it.  As my realtor friend put it, "I get such a rush..."

The best ambassadors for assessment are faculty whose teaching has been transformed by a deep understanding of their students’ learning.  Assessment is the vehicle that takes them to that place of deep understanding.  My role (and my goal!) is to help them build that vehicle.

Lou Slimak
Director of Academic Excellence and Assessment, Office of the Provost, WVU-Morgantown

My research background was in neuroscience and literature because I wanted to understand what was going on the brain while we read fiction. There's so much that happens when we read a good book - we have deep emotional responses, we're ethically challenged, we have to remember bits of plot, navigate the narrative structure, decide to trust (or not) the narrator... all usually without a whole lot of conscious attention or reflection. I wanted to improve how we teach literature (anyone who has suffered through a bad survey of literature course understands why) because I felt we were doing something magical a disservice.

What I discovered is that asking how we teach something better, how we improve student learning, is it's own field and that that field - assessment - was still quite young. I launched myself into assessment because it gave me a chance to interact with every single discipline on a campus, with faculty who, like me, were passionate about wanting to improve their students' learning.

Assessment is a challenge to all faculty in all disciplines to understand their craft and to be scholars not just of their area of expertise but of teaching and learning as well. It supports and improves the students and their learning, the faculty and their programs, and, ultimately, the institution and the regions it supports with its graduates.

I assess because I believe in the mission of higher education and I believe that we, as educators, need to be vigilant and inexhaustible in dedication to our profession.