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Make It Manageable; Let It Change [Making Assessment Manageable Series #1]

August 31, 2010

The Making Assessment Manageable Series is based on Fall 2007 conversations with faculty experienced with assessment at CSU-Fresno: Terry Miller, Theatre Arts; Marianne Jones, Child, Family and Consumer Sciences; and Marilyn Wilson, Psychology.

A good assessment plan doesn’t have too many goals and objectives. Five goals is sufficient.

Embed assessment activities into classes or ongoing projects. What can your students do? How do they show what they know (through analysis of it or practical application)? Assessment activities should be direct measures. They should reflect what a good percentage of your students are doing, not just what they know. Students should show what they know by applying it in some form.

Make it manageable. Instead of reading all the papers, read and rate a sample. Keep the activities and scoring relatively simple.

Assessment plans should be jargon-free. Don’t use the terminology of your discipline. Write it so that the objectives could be understood by prospective students and their parents. Plain English is good.

Approach developing a SOAP knowing that it will change all the time, and should change as you evaluate and use your results. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Modify what already exists.

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