“A” Is For …

Ha! You thought I was going to say “assessment,” right? Well, not this time! You know why? Because assessment for the sake of assessment is lame. For one thing, it’s not a good use of our time or resources. For another thing … well, there is no other thing. We need to be able to do something with what we learn from assessment work. So this time:

“A” is for actionable!

Assessment geeks like me refer to this as “closing the loop” — using our assessment findings (whether direct or indirect) to make improvements in our assignments, course design, instructional methodologies, programs, or our student services. Or, when appropriate, using our assessment findings to showcase what we are doing really well!

In the Assessment Program at my university, we constantly try to ask this question: What can we do with this data? We often all have the What? and we might even have the So What? But then …

NOW WHAT?

Simply put: How will what we learn here help us improve? What actions should we take accordingly?

So now we are writing about some of these assessment projects we’re working on making more actionable in my colleague’s Actionable Data blog. (By “we,” I mean “she.”)

(Oh – who is she? Her name is Kim Firth, and she’s an awesome data geek and a very cool colleague.)

Here’s part 1 of several posts to come about a project we are working on (again, by “we” I mean “she”): the revision of our Alumni Survey. Read it and weep. Ok, don’t weep – it’s not sad. If anything it should make you happy that we’re being so intentional about making this survey actionable.

Lessons from an attempt at action-focused survey revision

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