There is no "one size fits all" approach to assessment. What works best in this process depends on the strengths of the institution, department, and faculty and staff that support it. We have added a few items below in the hopes that you may consider them during your accreditation/assessment process.
Establishing Validity and Reliability
Validity connects assessment to performance. This process ensures an assessment measure's content is consistent with course assignments and specific learning outcomes. Faculty and staff should ensure precise, valid, and accurate results in the reporting process to both internal and external stakeholders.
Collaboration & Buy-In
Institutional assessment officers are equipped with the knowledge and resources to run effective assessment processes. Faculty and staff are subject matter experts and should work alongside assessment professionals, other departments, offices, and groups to ensure meaningful and sustainable assessment. Departmental leadership should also stress the importance of assessment to faculty and staff in their units to ensure practices are understood to be helpful and not just viewed as compliance.
Learning From the Past, Preparing for the Future
It is imperative to review assessment results as a part of the planning process for future semesters and as a part of any strategic efforts. Improvements should be made based on both successes and failures and shared among different departments to improve assessment practices.
Organizing and supporting faculty and staff involvement with professional development opportunities encourages a culture of assessment and can have positive, long-lasting effects on institutional assessment processes. Here at Howard, Institutional Research and Assessment (IRA) hosts workshops based on where we are in our accreditation and HAAP cycles.