Assessment and Planning

Mission Statement

Student Development Assessment and Planning and the Student Development Assessment Committee seek to develop a culture supporting learning and assessment influenced practice in the Student Development Division by helping staff to:

1. identify constituent needs

2. identify areas of challenge and success in programs

3. illuminate and connect best practices, theories, and the values and context of the institution

4. develop tools for assessment

5. communicate the impact of programs

6. structure continuous improvement

7. align assessment tools and results to the mission and vision of the department, division and university

All of these goals are forwarded by a philosophy based on the Iterative Systematic Evidence Based Decision Making Cycle adapted from Peggy Maki and Marilee J. Bresciani (sometimes called the assessment cycle).

Assessment Mission Flow Chart

The division intends to embed the assessment cycle into the practice of all staff members and collaborative groups so that continuous improvement is prioritized at all levels and in all facets of the organization.

Learning Outcomes

Student learning is the nexus of Student Development’s mission. Staff design and assess programs with an enduring and prioritized belief in the university and division’s learning mission.  Student Development learning outcomes were developed based on the University Learning Outcomes, Learning Reconsidered, CAS learning domains, the Division’s Mission and Strategic Plan, the AACU Value Rubrics and relevant student affairs literature in 2013. Staff develop and map their programs to these learning outcomes based on the idea that their program objectives cascade from the student development learning outcomes which themselves cascade from the University Learning Outcomes.

Student Development Learning Outcomes

University Learning Outcomes

All Student Development Learning Outcomes attached to a University Learning Outcome have a one to one connection. That is, all programs in student development that align to experiential wisdom will also align to practical wisdom. Because of this, staff are encouraged to consider both the Student Development and University Learning Outcomes in identifying connections.

Experiential Wisdom

Drawing on the practical skills that students learn in their co-curricular experiences students will develop creative and effective strategies to address academic, workplace, individual, and community needs.

Practical wisdom: All undergraduates will develop and demonstrate practical wisdom in addressing real human problems and deep human needs, drawing upon advanced knowledge, values, and skills in their chosen profession or major course of study. Starting with a conception of human flourishing, students will be able to define and diagnose symptoms, relationships, and problems clearly and intelligently, construct and evaluate possible solutions, thoughtfully select and implement solutions, and critically reflect on the process in light of actual consequences.

Community Engagement

Students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of a Marianist Education through active community participation, collaboration, and service.

Community: All undergraduates will develop and demonstrate understanding of and practice in the values and skills necessary for learning, living, and working in communities of support and challenge. These values and skills include accepting difference, resolving conflicts peacefully, and promoting reconciliation; they encompass productive, discerning, creative, and respectful collaboration with persons from diverse backgrounds and perspectives for the common purpose of learning, service, and leadership that aim at just social transformation. Students will demonstrate these values and skills on campus and in the Dayton region as part of their preparation for global citizenship.

Healthy Living

Students will exemplify appreciation for the dignity of each person and the common good by engaging in healthy behaviors, making purposeful decisions, and contributing to environments that promote health and reduce risk.

Although Healthy Living is not directly aligned to a University Learning Outcome, outcomes and programs aligned to healthy living may (and often will) align to one or more University Learning Outcomes including Community, Practical Wisdom, and Vocation.

Multicultural Development

Students will demonstrate an understanding of their own and other's identities, have meaningful cross-cultural experiences, and reflect on and address individual and structural barriers to equity and inclusion.

Diversity: All undergraduates will develop and demonstrate intellectually informed, appreciative, and critical understanding of the cultures, histories, times, and places of multiple others, as marked by class, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, and other manifestations of difference. Students’ understanding will reflect scholarly inquiry, experiential immersion, and disciplined reflection.

While the division emphasizes three of the University Learning Outcomes as absolutely central to the division’s programs staff are also encouraged to consider potential alignment to other University Learning Outcomes when it is appropriate to the program and department’s mission and objectives. Staff are also encouraged to be conscious of how a particular experience they administer aligns to students’ overall developmental and sequenced progression through a variety of learning experiences at the University of Dayton related to these outcomes. Through a concentration on this sequence we seek to design programs which build on students’ other experiences both in and outside of the classroom while simultaneously preparing those students for more advanced learning experiences, capstones, and ultimately the challenges and joys they will face throughout their lives.

Staff seek to embed learning outcomes assessment into their programs and practices using many different methods. Currently the division is emphasizing a few methods because of their ease of use and their alignment to assessment methods being used by our faculty colleagues to assess the University of Dayton Learning Outcomes.

Classroom Assessment Techniques based on the book of the same name by Angelo and Cross are heavily emphasized throughout the division. Using these simple techniques staff collect a variety of indirect and direct evidence of student learning and feedback on the learning teaching process. Staff   are encouraged to use this information for immediate response to student needs and to integrate this information with other evidence for planning purposes and long term improvements.

Classroom Assessment Techniques by Angelo and Cross

50 Classroom Assessment Techniques Handout

The division highly emphasizes Rubric Based Assessment of student learning based on rating samples of student work or other behaviors produced in their out of classroom experiences. Rubrics are often in concert with classroom assessment techniques. Many of the rubrics throughout the division are based on a set of rubrics developed by the University Assessment Committee for curricular and co-curricular assessment and/or the AACU Value Rubrics.

AACU Value Rubrics

Program and Operational Assessment

The Division’s Strategic Plan like the University’s Strategic Plan contains a strong emphasis on stewardship of resources and effective practice in all areas of our work. Overall the division seeks to embed assessment of practices into the everyday activities that constitute those practices. These embedded techniques can be thought of as the operational version of classroom assessment techniques. Staff develops goals for their programs and services and seek to develop easy ways of embedding measures of success of those goals into their practice. These embedded assessment techniques are complemented by the division’s participation in a variety of national benchmarking surveys and other centralized data collection processes. Additionally, the use of focus groups and other qualitative methods for garnering richer feedback are often used in the design phase of programs or at regular intervals throughout the program lifespan. This combination of practices seeks to keep students at the center of our mission.

Starting last year the Division adopted use of the Net Promoter metric in a variety of programs and services. Net Promoter is a simple metric that allows comparison of satisfaction between programs. We have seen a strong correlation between it and other measures of student satisfaction in our work. It also allows us to make quick improvements by providing qualitative feedback about what students were most and least valuing in our interaction with us. The introduction of this unified strategy has had the added benefit of decreasing the length of surveys potentially helping us avoid survey fatigue.

A Book on Net Promoter by Reichheld and Markey

Strategic Planning

The Student Development Strategic Plan is a living document that is kept current through a yearly planning and reporting process. This process encourages staff to develop new initiatives and improve existing ones in pursuit of the plans goals.

Action Steps

Staff develop and report on new action steps based on the division’s six goals on a yearly basis. In the plan’s first full year departments across the division accomplished more than 140 discrete actions and improvements based on the plan’s directives. This flexible system allows staff to respond to emergent challenges and opportunities while remaining focused on a long term strategy focused around a few key goals.

Indicators

Over 100 indicators related to the strategic plan are tracked by departments across the division. These indicators provide a broad, dashboard view of the challenges we face as a division and illuminate important areas of success and progress.

Vice Presidential Initiatives

In addition to the long term goals described in the strategic plan the Vice President of Student Development emphasizes a few major initiatives every year that allow the division to prioritize and direct resources to the most important challenges and opportunities of the division.

Student Development Assessment Committee

The Student Development Assessment Committee provides guidance and assistance to the division and its departments for the purpose of building and sustaining a systematic assessment and evaluation process to enhance student learning and development and to assist in continuous improvement of the division’s programs and services.

To this end, the committee’s work includes:

  • Developing an assessment professional development curriculum for staff
  • Building a repository of assessment resources for staff
  • Serving as a resource for department and divisional assessment efforts; and
  • Providing opportunities for collaboration on assessment initiatives among the departments within the division