2018 External Review
As part of an ongoing cycle of program review, Assessment also takes its turn. External Reviewers Charles Blaich and Kathy Wise from the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts came to campus August 28-30, 2018. The mission of the Center is to support the efforts of faculty, staff, administrators, and students at 2- and 4-year institutions to use evidence to improve student learning through consultation, advice on designing assessment programs, surveys, site visits, program evaluation, workshops, and other mechanisms. In addition, Dr. Blaich and Ms. Wise have supported projects at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, National Survey of Student Engagement, and conduct the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education. The Office of Assessment, at the direction of the Provost, asked reviewers to weigh in on the following items:
- The effectiveness and value of our week-long workshop in May. This assessment workshop has brought faculty, staff, and students together to assess student learning in public affairs and in general education.
- How are the split assessment functions working at Missouri State? Colleges and programs focus on program-level assessment while the Office of Assessment supports college- and university-level assessment.
- Provide feedback on our current assessment philosophy that there are multiple approaches to assessing student learning. The university embeds assessment of student learning within existing reports (department reports, accreditation reports, program review, general education reports, and Deans' annual reports to the Provost). How do we effectively frame this style and philosophy to accrediting bodies, such as HLC?
- We have been successful at administering the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement, National Survey of Student Engagement, and Faculty Survey of Student Engagement. We would like feedback on the BCSSE/NSSE data and how best to use evidence of student learning post-administration. As experts and as Directors of the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium, what are the actionable items that can inform institutional assessment?
- Review the University Exit Exam and the ways in which that data is disseminated and used.
- We have questions regarding what we have been calling "data infrastructure." The University purchases Digital Measures and Blackboard. How can we use best use existing systems to answer the questions we have, especially in light of industry consolidation? Could we reduce the costs for students and get a better handle on our data?
- Is Student Affairs' approach to assessment optimal? Currently, the unit chooses one learning outcome a year and each program assesses that outcome at the program-level and reports to the Unit Assessment committee.
- What insights do you have regarding how institutions use evidence of student learning to support workforce development trends?
Dr. Charles Blaich
University of Connecticut, BA, MS, and PhD
Charlie works with Kathy to make the Center of Inquiry's mission come true: to strengthen liberal arts education for all students, regardless of who they are or what privileges they have. To accomplish this mission,
Charlie visits and collaborates with people at colleges, universities, and higher education organizations. Charlie believes the Center of Inquiry's research and services can help colleges and universities better serve their students.
Yale University, BA; University of Chicago, MBA
Kathy works with Charlie to lead the Center of Inquiry. In her work, Kathy's goal is to help faculty, staff, administrators, and students find ways to improve the impact of courses, majors, programs, and, in the end, colleges and universities overall. To accomplish this goal, Kathy spends much of her time visiting colleges and universities and interacting with people on campus. Kathy believes the Center of Inquiry can truly help colleges and universities improve.