Cherry Danielson, Associate Director of Institutional Research and Assessment, facilitated a pre-conference workshop at the 40th Annual Northeast Association for Institutional Research (NEAIR) Conference in Newport, Rhode Island on November 10, 2013. Her workshop, titled "Developing Assessments: A Timeline Model," focused on how the institutional research staff can help the faculty identify learning objects and strategically allocate course assessments.
Each year, on our college campuses, faculty develop and revise their curriculum and they often are awarded grants to do so. The beginning of the course development process presents a good opportunity for faculty to consider where, why, and when to assess student learning. IR offices are positioned well to work with faculty to develop assessments of student learning. At the course level, assessment is a tool that gives information to faculty regarding how well students are learning. Using a timeline assessment approach and backwards design, IR staff can guide faculty through three modules to a well-developed curricular project. This activity-based workshop includes learning some useful approaches to identifying learning goals and strategically placing assessments at particular points in time during the course. Participants in this workshop will learn to help faculty clarify their learning outcomes, position assessments on a timeline, and scaffold learning with well-developed learning environments.