Assessment for Learning: From Data to Action

*This schedule is subject to change.

Team time and breaks are incorporated into each session.

June 13: Assessment as Research

7:30 AM - 4:00 PM      Registration

8:00 - 9:00 AM             Breakfast

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM     Building Systems and a Culture of Student Learning

To effectively understand what students are learning and, more important, what can be done to improve student learning, colleges need systems and cultures that emphasize learning. This means going beyond traditional mechanisms of assessment which generally focus on writing student learning outcomes, gathering data, and/or accountability—especially when those mechanisms are disjointed and don’t inform decisions about institutional improvement. What is needed are effective processes that help institutions identify, measure, interpret, and share data on student learning, seeking to turn data into information, and information into action. This workshop will focus on effective student learning systems, including critical features, common pitfalls, and keys to an effective implementation in practical settings.

Learning Outcomes: Participants will:

  • Identify components of a successful assessment system
  • Compare and contrast various forms of assessment data
  • Using an established rubric, evaluate existing assessment programs

12:00 - 1:00 PM          Working Lunch

1:00 - 4:00 PM            Effective Data Use: Ask the Right Questions, Get the Right Answers

Seemingly every institution is interested in using data to improve student learning and student success. Gathering data for these purposes allows institutions to explore and perhaps demonstrate the effectiveness of their educational programs, activities, and support systems in fostering student learning, and ultimately increasing student success. While institutions generally have plenty of data sources, there are often challenges to turning those data into information, and that information into action. During this session, we will demonstrate the common and important questions that institutions are asking about student success and student learning. We will explore various data requirements and methodologies for answering such questions. Lastly, we will work through the articulation of the relationship between student learning and student success. Participants can hope to gain a toolbox of skills for using their data to explore, inform, and improve student learning and success within their institutions.

Learning Outcomes: Participants will:

  • Compare and contrast various types of assessment questions
  • Articulate assessment topics as learning inquiries
  • Generate one learning inquiry that integrates student learning and student success

June 14: A New Approach to Student Success

7:30 AM - 4:00 PM    Registration

8:00 - 9:00 AM          Breakfast

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM  Shifting the Paradigm of Student Success: Institutional Strategies Integrating
                                    Noncognitive Skills and Holistic Assessment

While many educators will acknowledge the importance of noncognitive factors (e.g., study skills, motivation, self-efficacy, social connections) in student success, many of our practices, policies, and structures are built around an understanding of academic preparation. Thus, if noncognitive factors and holistic assessment are to help us more effectively understand and impact student success, we must first shift the paradigm that underlies the strategies we use to affect it. This session will discuss three valuable and practical strategies that also help to integrate holistic assessment into a student success agenda. First, participants will be presented with a practical view of predictive modeling—one that focuses not just on data and analytics but on use and impact. Second, strategic planning tools such as cocurricular alignment and process mapping will help participants see how certain strategies are designed to work, as well as how they often operate in practice. Finally, we will review practices in developmental education, including the integration of multiple measures and the design of targeted acceleration or mainstreaming efforts to place more students into higher-level courses. Throughout this session, participants will obtain practical guides that can be applied to their institutions and impact student success efforts.

Learning Outcomes: Participants will:

  • Identify key components and uses of predictive modeling to inform student success strategies
  • Align institutional student success efforts to a framework of noncognitive skills
  • Identify two ways in which holistic assessment can inform course placement decisions

12:00 - 1:00 PM        Working Lunch

1:00 - 4:00 PM          Changing the Conversation: Integrating Holistic Assessment Into Our
                                   Conversations With Students

Many of the ways in which we currently understand student success do not inform the conversations we might have with a student. For example, simply understanding that a student is the first in her family to go to college does not immediately suggest her strengths and challenges or the resources that might foster her success. Holistic assessment and support, which integrate noncognitive factors into conversations about students’ success, can identify the skills, behaviors, mindsets, and strategies that students need to be successful. But how does this change the way that we advise, coach, and/or counsel students? In this session, we will address three key components of holistic advising, helping participants to develop skills in the ways they discuss and support student success in their work with students. First, a framework of skills is presented, along with research into the prediction of student academic and persistence outcomes. Participants then develop skills in examining profiles of student characteristics (i.e., background, academic achievement, noncognitive skills) to understand pathways to success. Second, we will emphasize key conversational strategies to discussing various academic and noncognitive factors with students while emphasizing a growth mindset for their development. Third, we will emphasize the possible interventions with which students could be connected to either overcome challenges or emphasize strengths. Finally, we will ask participants to discuss the various resources and strategies that could house holistic advising within their institution. Throughout this session, we will emphasize skill development and tactical tools that can be taken back to an institution and impact student success efforts.

Learning Outcomes: Participants will:

  • Compare and contrast predictors of academic success and persistence
  • Identify two strategies for effectively discussing students’ strengths and challenges
  • Align institutional student success efforts to a framework of noncognitive skills