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Program Evaluation and Assessment: Integrating Methods, Process, and Culture
Unformatted Document Text:  For example, at Truman weak performance on national exams, weak retention of important discipline content from one course to the next, inadequate student self-reported study time, and lower than expected successful placements in graduate and professional programs caused the department faculty to propose substantial reforms. Thus it is essential to remember that one of the most important and often overlooked elements in planning program assessment is to structure into the plan occasions for the analysis and discussion several types of assessment data as they relate to specific department issues. Students and External Constituencies Students and external constituencies need to be included in the planning and data interpretation processes of assessment whenever possible. Students have the ability to provide helpful interpretations of survey data and can give faculty important insights to what is behind the data. Involving students in the planning and interpretation phases can also help communicate to them the intended purposes of the curriculum as well as the purpose and importance of assessment. Student acceptance of assessment is best when it is embedded in courses in ways that make it relatively invisible to students. For example, a program that chooses to team score student research papers as a direct measure in an assessment plan lessens what students must do for assessment. For non-embedded assessments, keeping the amount of time and effort to complete them to a minimum is also helpful. External constituencies, such as employers and professionals in the region, can also be effectively involved in the process. A number of campuses have found that professionals from the community are especially helpful as external examiners for the evaluation of complex simulations and project presentations. In addition, these community professionals tend to 20

Authors: Young, Candace.
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For example, at Truman weak performance on national exams, weak retention of important
discipline content from one course to the next, inadequate student self-reported study time, and
lower than expected successful placements in graduate and professional programs caused the
department faculty to propose substantial reforms. Thus it is essential to remember that one of
the most important and often overlooked elements in planning program assessment is to structure
into the plan occasions for the analysis and discussion several types of assessment data as they
relate to specific department issues.
Students and External Constituencies
Students and external constituencies need to be included in the planning and data
interpretation processes of assessment whenever possible. Students have the ability to provide
helpful interpretations of survey data and can give faculty important insights to what is behind
the data. Involving students in the planning and interpretation phases can also help communicate
to them the intended purposes of the curriculum as well as the purpose and importance of
assessment. Student acceptance of assessment is best when it is embedded in courses in ways
that make it relatively invisible to students. For example, a program that chooses to team score
student research papers as a direct measure in an assessment plan lessens what students must do
for assessment. For non-embedded assessments, keeping the amount of time and effort to
complete them to a minimum is also helpful.
External constituencies, such as employers and professionals in the region, can also be
effectively involved in the process. A number of campuses have found that professionals from
the community are especially helpful as external examiners for the evaluation of complex
simulations and project presentations. In addition, these community professionals tend to
20


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