Annual Assessment Reports
Assessment reports are required for all academic programs and look back at the previous year's assessment efforts and results.
Annual Assessment Reports are due by October 15 each year and contain:
- Listing of outcomes that were assessed during the previous year
- Targets for success for the identified outcomes
- Data and findings related to each assessed outcome
- Action plans if targets are not met
- Activities that support “closing the loop” and continuous program improvement
- Supporting documentation of assessment
Separate assessment reports are due for each degree granting program for both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Assessment Report Submission
Annual assessment reports must be completed and uploaded to the online repository system, Planning & Self Study.
There could be many reasons why someone doesn't report any assessment data. Maybe they didn't know what they were supposed to report, they didn't understand the expectations of assessment, the assignment changed and no it doesn't align with the assessment plan. Whatever the reason, reach out to the Assessment & Accreditation team and we can help you identify data that is already being collected that can align with your stated goals and outcomes.
If you aren't generating information that's interesting, the truth probably is that no one does want to talk about it. It may be time to regroup and focus on learning outcomes that everyone agrees are critical, methods for collecting information likely to yield intrinsically interesting findings, and questions about learning that program faculty are genuinely curious about.
Feel free to reach out to the UND Assessment Team for a fresh perspective.
Shifting the culture towards assessment is extremely difficult. There are literally hundreds of higher-ed assessment books written on this exact topic. You need buy-in from everyone, especially leadership, in order to be somewhat successful, and that doesn't just happen overnight. This problem becomes self-perpetuating. If colleagues assume assessment is busywork, they may do whatever is easiest rather than what is most likely to be useful.
The best way to change that attitude is with a bit of success. Try creating an assessment project that will yield genuinely interesting findings. Engage your colleagues in discussion of your results. And then build on that first small success.
The more information you collect, the greater your organizational challenge. And there is no single strategy for success.
The best advice is what you already know. It makes sense to keep all materials in two places, one for all hard copies and one for all electronic documents. Make sure that minutes are kept at every meeting where assessment is discussed, because a lot of the results, findings, and loop-closing information will be elicited from faculty discussions. If it's not written down, you will not remember when it's time to report. Add those minutes to the assessment file as soon as they're written up. Assign one individual in the department (ideally someone with good organizational skills) to be in charge of maintaining the records, even though you will want to be sharing responsibility for other aspects of the work. At the beginning of the semester, set up a schedule for assessment reminders, and choose someone to be in charge of them.
Find a colleague in another department where they've been doing assessment well for a long time and ask how they do it. Beg, borrow, or steal the best methods you find.
'Closing the Loop' is referring to the part of the assessment cycle when you take action and start over again. Common challenges occur when:
- no actions were taken (especially if the results indicated opportunities for change)
- actions taken were not based on the assessment results
- actions taken did not align with or address the student learning outcomes