Assessment Activities – Fall 2010 Justine M. Shaw, Assessment Coordinator

Assessment Activities – Fall 2010
Justine M. Shaw, Assessment Coordinator
The focus of assessment activities during the fall 2010 semester was to begin conducting
program-level assessments on a regular basis. It was decided to begin this effort with the relatively new
AA Liberal Arts degrees, which had PLOs that had been defined by faculty in 2009. Additional efforts
included holding regular meetings of the Assessment Committee, creating a web presence for the
Committee, and establishing collections of assessment books on the Eureka, Del Norte, and Mendocino
The fall 2010 convocation was originally planned to include an intensive, assessment-related
workshop on the day when faculty from throughout the district could be in attendance. While plans for
convocation evolved in a different direction over the summer, there was still one assessment session
that some Eureka faculty were able to attend. At this session and four other workshops subsequently
held by Shaw (two at Mendocino and two at Del Norte), faculty engaged in planning efforts to conduct
regular assessments of each AALA degree emphasis area (Science Exploration; Mathematics; Science;
Fine Arts; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Humanities, Language, and Communication; and Business).
The planning documents included “mapping” of each emphasis area in a matrix of classes and PLOs, with
faculty recording whether each course covered the given PLO on a beginning, intermediate, or mastery
level. Additionally, faculty were asked to decide when each PLO would be assessed, which courses
sample artifacts would be drawn from, who responsible faculty would be, and how the assessments
would be conducted. The planning documents covered five academic years. While they were filled out
to be specific to the AALA degrees, Shaw also provided them to a variety of other programs for which
they might readily be adapted. Although not their primary emphasis, the workshops also provided
forums in which faculty could raise questions and concerns about course-level assessments, assessment
methodologies, and how associate faculty might be included in assessment work. Dean Rachel
Anderson also launched a pilot of an assessment of the GE program in which students from selected
courses answered a series of questions to self-assess the knowledge they gained in GE courses.
While at each campus, Shaw also delivered assessment books that had been purchased with the
remainder of funds from the 2009-2010 assessment budget. These now reside in the libraries on the
three main campuses, able to be checked out by faculty for a limited period of time.
The Assessment Committee also met three times during the fall semester. In addition to
updating the three-year plan for assessment activities, the Committee established subcommittees for
the instructional and student services areas, established a web presence and e-mail for the coordinator,
finalized mission and scope statements, and made preliminary plans for spring 2011 activities.
Throughout the semester, the assessment coordinator also provided individual responses to
assessment questions via e-mail, phone, and in person. Having a centralized position responsible for
such inquiries is critical to helping our institution reach the proficiency level of assessment by Fall 2012,
as it allows individuals to rapidly receive answers to questions that might otherwise impede assessment
activities. Though in-person meetings and e-mail, Shaw also communicated with the Vice-President of
Instruction, the Vice-President of Student Services, the Senate Co-Presidents, the Program Review
Committee, and Institutional Research in order to facilitate the flow of information between various
areas. In November, Shaw also made a report to the Senate about assessment activities during the fall
semester and met with Ed Buckley and Yolanda Bellisimo, members of the Self-Study Review Team,
during their December visit.