As you begin an assessment project, there are some core questions to ask yourself and your team. Defining the ultimate purpose and goals of your project or assessment program will help organize your methodologies, rubrics and expected outcomes effectively. Remember that at UCLA Library, assessment is used to make decisions that guide our future, not to validate decisions of the past.
How might this assessment inform goals in your institution more broadly? What is your departmental mission statement and what are your desired outcomes?
Doing a thorough literature review should be an organizing principle of your assessment. There is a growing body of literature of assessment efforts in both the UC and CSU libraries that may prove very useful.
In addition, an environmental scan of your own institution is essential as it will help you understand some of the following:
When the environmental scan is finished, consider if you might have better success, gather richer data, or have wider reach in sample size and so on if you find appropriate partners to work with on campus or off.
So who at UCLA might be a good partner to work with? Show them your plan. Get advice on your design, your rubrics, methodological approach, sample size, and variable identification. Examples of partners might include:
· Center for Educational Assessment (CEA) in the Office of Instructional Development
· Faculty Teaching and Learning offices (e.g. course redesign units)
· Campus/academic affairs IT (e.g. Peoplesoft or Blackboard managers)
· Student Association(s)
· Hiring a consultant such as CSU Fullerton's Social Science Research Center.