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Building Consensus and Implementing Activities [Making Assessment Manageable Series, #2]

November 19, 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.

Get faculty members working together on assessment. It doesn’t have to be a major production. Everybody can take a little piece. You can do small-scale projects.

It’s important to reach consensus on goals. One way to do that is to start with goals that already exist. When developing objectives, it works best to talk with smaller groups such as those who teach particular courses. Then when developing the actual assessment activities that will be used to gauge the degree to which these goals and objectives are being reached, the Assessment Coordinator (AC) will likely need to just make a decision and implement.

Developing an Assessment Plan should be consultative, but consensus isn’t always needed on everything. AC’s should feel free to make these decisions after goals are established.

Get colleagues behind assessment. An Assessment Coordinator who is a senior faculty member has an advantage, but a good way for a junior faculty member to facilitate assessment and get more seasoned colleagues on board is to approach it by asking them to help you understand the values of the department. Use as little of their time as possible. Establish a time limit. Set a clear agenda and use the time with colleagues effectively. After establishing good relationships with some people, they may be able to help you figure out how to get others on board.

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