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ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING
IN STUDENT INVOLVEMENT
Diana Sims-Harris
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Participant Learning Outcomes
Following this session, participants will know or be able to:
 Describe the importance of providing direct evidence of
learning in student affairs
 Demonstrate an example of a departmental mapping of
programs and services to learning outcomes, especially
where apparently disparate functions are involved
 Understand dynamics between academic affairs and
student affairs at a large urban university
 Gain insight to the assessment practices of a large
department and results of the data
 Apply information shared to other institutional contexts
Session Overview
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Division of Student Affairs Context
Faculty and Student Affairs Context
OSI Assessment Strategies and Expectations
OSI Learning Outcomes
Assessment Measures and Approaches
Results and Use for Improvements
Closing Recommendations
DIVISION OF STUDENT
AFFAIRS CONTEXT
Principles of Co-Curricular Learning
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Core Communication Skills
Critical Thinking
Integration and Application of Knowledge
Intellectual Depth, Breadth and Adaptiveness
Understanding Society and Culture
Values and Ethics
Intrapersonal Development
Interpersonal Development
http://go.iu.edu/8Io (case-sensitive)
FACULTY AND STUDENT
AFFAIRS CONTEXT
• Different history
• Different priorities
• Different culture
• Disparate perceptions
So what do we have
in common?
Chad Ahren, Ph.D.
Diana Sims-Harris
From silos to ladders: Phase 1
• Critical elements: values,
external pressure, and learning
• Creating buy-in for the benefits
and necessity of collaboration
Kezar, A.J. & Lester, J. (2009). Organizing higher
education for collaboration: A guide for
campus leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Chad Ahren, Ph.D.
Diana Sims-Harris
From silos to ladders: Phase 2
• Critical elements: mission, social
networks and reward
systems/structures
• Taking the newfound belief in
collaboration and putting
it into action
Chad Ahren, Ph.D.
Diana Sims-Harris
From silos to ladders: Phase 3
• Critical elements: integrating
structures, reward systems/
structures, and social networks
• Keeping collaboration current
and valuable requires the
redesign of campus structures
Chad Ahren, Ph.D.
Diana Sims-Harris
Student Learning in student life and
OLS
• Course objectives
• Programming goals
Student Learning Outcomes
are the common language
Chad Ahren, Ph.D.
Diana Sims-Harris
Course Learning Outcomes
Recommended LEAD
Program/Experience
Recognize characteristics of individuals Student Organization Leadership
functioning in an effective work group Development (SOLD), Student
Organization Retreat, Leadership
or team.
Foundations, Leadership Consultants,
Catalyst, Freedom Rides, Project
Leadership
Identify theories, theorists, and issues
associated with organizational
behavior.
Student Organization Leadership
Development (SOLD), Leadership
Consultants, Catalyst, Project Leadership
Apply understanding of principles and
theories relating to small group
behavior through projects and
assignments.
Student Organization Leadership
Development (SOLD), Leadership
Consultants, Catalyst, Project Leadership,
Freedom Rides
Office of Student Involvement
Assessment of Learning:
Strategies and Expectations
OSI Strategic Priorities
Social Justice
Leadership
•
•
•
•
Social Change
Collaboration
Common Purpose
Self-knowledge
• Equal participation
• Inclusivity
• Dynamics of power
and oppression
Civic
Engagement
• Positive change
• Educationally
meaningful service
• Community
improvement
OSI Strategic Priorities
Leadership Learning Outcomes
1. Gain personal competencies
• Obtain and strengthen leadership skills such as conflict management, communication and dialogue, teamwork, time management, proactive
event planning, goal setting, and risk taking
• Manage their organizational functions through the use of programming, technology, and physical space
• Value co-curricular learning as transferable skills that will complement to the classroom experience
2. Develop a sense of personal leadership identity
• Define their sense of purpose through the personal exploration of strengths, passions, goals, and abilities
• Explore personal cultural identity as it relates to leadership
3. Understand how their personal leadership identity relates to working with others
• Provide intentional experiences for students to interact with others who are different from themselves
• Apply individual experience to develop an even fuller understanding of themselves through their interactions with others
4. Build community with the IUPUI and Indianapolis community
• Create partnerships with students, faculty, staff and organizations
• Develop relationships through social and professional networking opportunities
• Participate in idea-sharing as it relates to their organizations, programming, and leadership experiences
5. Connect to the IUPUI campus
• Have an increased awareness of resources that are provided for students and organizations through The Office of Student Involvement and
IUPUI
• Use their voice effectively to create and engage in a positive collegiate experience for themselves and other students
• Be able to navigate the IUPUI community and university system
Social Justice Education Learning
Outcomes
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Interact productively with others who are different from themselves
Apply individual experience to develop an even fuller understanding of
themselves through their interactions with others
Explore social justice advocacy as it relates to leadership
Achieve awareness of their social identities
Gain knowledge of groups whose identities they do not share
Navigate difference by learning, listening, asking and watching
Outline individual responsibility for action to facilitate change
Multicultural Change Process
• Awareness
• Knowledge
• Skills
• Action
Civic Engagement Learning Outcomes
Civic-Minded Graduate
 Ability to understand interest, responsibility and
personal commitment to service and social issues
 Understanding how social issues are addressed in
society
 Active participant in society to address social issues
 Collaboration with others across difference (includes
diversity, interconnectedness, mutuality, and respect)
 Benefit of education to address social issues
À la Carte approach
to assessment using
Strategic Priorities:
OSI Assessment Structure
Example:
Social
Justice
• Social Identity
• Knowledge of
others
Civic
Engage
-ment
Leader
-ship
• How social
issues are
addressed
• Partnership
creation
• Organizational
management
OSI Assessment Structure
At least two
rigorous assessment
projects per
functional area
OSI Assessment Expectations
Learning in addition
to or instead of
evaluation and
satisfaction
OSI Assessment Expectations
Choose projects that
are manageable
and represent likely
opportunities for
critical learning and
improvement
OSI Assessment Expectations
Keep your
assessment practice
manageable –
integrate into
current processes
OSI Assessment Expectations
I promise to make
reporting
requirements
manageable, timely
and transparent
OSI Assessment Expectations
Functional areas:
• Review strategic
priorities and outcomes
• How will you apply
these?
OSI Assessment Discussion
Functional areas:
• Review strategic
priorities and outcomes
• How will you apply
these?
OSI Assessment Discussion
Results and Use for Improvement
Practical Information on Reporting
Instruments and design were discussed 1-1 meetings with staff
throughout the year
 Programs which covered multiple strategic priorities were
encouraged
 Growing pains in reporting (expectations not always clear to staff,
too much data, timing of analysis)
 Not all information shared in division report each year
 Much of the data is baseline
Reporting:
 First round of analysis completed by Assistant Directors (depending
on level of experience)
 Second round completed by Associate Director and Director of OSI
 Third round completed by Director of Assessment and Planning

Alternative Breaks
Measure
(5-point scale of “strongly disagree” to
“strongly agree”)
Core Communication and  As a result of participating in

Quantitative Skills (PUL 1)
Alternative Breaks, I am better able to
communicate as a team
100% indicated
“agree” or “strongly
agree” (n=23)
Integration and

Application of Knowledge
(PUL 3)
96% indicated
“agree” or “strongly
agree” (n = 22)
Principle of
Undergraduate Learning

Values and Ethics (PUL 6)

As a result of participating in

Alternative Breaks, I understand the
root causes of the social issue that my
trip worked with
As a result of participating in

Alternative Breaks, I realize that I
cannot effectively make social change
without being educated on a social
issue
As a result of participating in

Alternative Breaks, I have the desire to
make a difference in my community
Results
65% indicated
“agree” or “strongly
agree” (n = 15)
100% indicated
“agree” or “strongly
agree” (n=23)
Alternative Breaks
Participant comments that support Values and Ethics:
 I gained insight on what a small committed group of motivated people
can do for a reason.
 The strengths that I gained from this trip are determination and
responsibility to make more of a difference with the social issues going
on right in my community. The knowledge of knowing that I have the
power to make a change to help others in my community to have some
hope for the future.
 I learned to be more open minded about the social topics involved.
 I feel as though I have realized more of how compassionate I strive to be.
I realize that I want to continue my services in the community, and I truly
want to work in a non-profit educational facility now also. This trip made
me realize a lot about what populations I want to be working with in the
future.
Freedom Rides
Lead IUPUI Learning Outcome
Gain Personal Competencies
(LO1)
Develop a Sense of Personal
Leadership Identity (LO2)
Measure
(4-point scale of “strongly disagree” to
“strongly agree”)
 Freedom Rides helped me develop
individual goals.



Understand how their personal 
leadership identity relates to

working with others (LO3)
Freedom Rides helped me recognize how
groups and communities I belong to
affect my leadership style.
Freedom Rides helped me create a vision
statement.
Freedom Rides helped me identify
personal leadership skills and strengths
Freedom Rides helped me identify social
justice issues of personal importance.
Freedom Rides helped me compare
different social justice leaders'
approaches to leadership.
Results
95% indicated “agree”
or “strongly agree”
(n=21)
89% indicated “agree”
or “strongly agree”
(n=63)
100% indicated “agree”
or “strongly agree”
(n=42)
Freedom Rides
Participant comments that support the Personal Leadership
Identity in Relation to Others outcome:
Has the trip helped you learn about social justice? If so, how?
 Yes, it has helped me to know a change must happen all
people deserve to be treated fairly.
 Yes, I learned that everyone deserves social justice no
matter what their background may be
 It taught me that it affects one and that we all have the
power so don't be afraid to speak
 Yes! I already knew a fair amount about social justice from
some courses, but I learned even more!
 By walking through the journey taken by the leaders
AFLV – Program Evaluation
Principle of
Undergraduate
Learning
Measure
(strongly agree, agree, neutral,
disagree, strongly disagree)
Results
Critical Thinking
· AFLV provided me with skills to
generate new ideas or ways to
improve things in my chapter and
at IUPUI.
96% indicated “agree” or
“strongly agree” n=25)
Values and Ethics
· AFLV helped me recognize my
personal values and ethics.
100% indicated “agree”
or
“strongly agree” n=25)
Integration and
Application of
Knowledge
· AFLV provided me with skills to
96% indicated “agree” or
develop individual/organizational “strongly agree” n=25)
goals.
AFLV – Focus Group
Selected participant comments that support Integration and Application of
Knowledge
 Everybody's chapter is different and you can come back and take
some of their ideas, like their bigger successes and take those back,
and get the best aspects of all different kinds of Greek life in all
different kinds of communities and bring it back and apply it here
 I wish we could all break down the distance between IFC fraternities
and everyone else... Just like at AFLV, they accommodated everybody.
That is a good step forward in doing that. Just being IUPUI students
and being in Greek organizations, we should take the reins from that
and see how they expanded on it, and do it ourselves, essentially
 We are only now starting to have to deal with connecting with alumni,
so we just started doing like a letter that we are putting together, like
a newsletter type thing that talks about the accomplishments of the
chapter for the year and once we realized that you know it does not
have tojust go to alumni so we are going to send it to parents for like
PR and stuff like that and show what they are doing...
Academic Organizations Survey
Principle of
Undergraduate
Learning
Core

communication and
quantitative skills
(PUL 1)
Measure
Results
(4-point scale of “strongly disagree” to
“strongly agree”)
Being involved with this organization provided 92.78% indicated
me with the skills to communicate ideas and
“agree” or
information
“strongly agree”
Integration and
application of
knowledge (PUL 3)

Being involved with this organization provided 93.30% indicated
me with the skills to make connections with
“agree” or
students, faculty, and staff on campus.
“strongly agree”
Values and ethics
(PUL 6)

Being involved with this organization provided 87.63% indicated
me with the skills to recognize how groups
“agree” or
and communities I belong to influence my
“strongly agree”
leadership style.
Academic Organizations Survey
Being involved in this organization allowed me to use information I learned through my coursework:
Always
Quite a bit
Sometimes
Very Little
8.25%
27.84%
40.21%
23.71%
Being involved with this student organization I have been able to connect my experiences to the
Principles of Undergraduate Learning:
(n=162)
Core Communication and Quantitative Skills
Critical Thinking
Integration and Application of Knowledge
18.69%
16.26%
15.35%
Intellectual Depth, Breadth, and Adaptiveness
Understanding Society and Culture
Values and Ethics
12.16%
19.60%
17.93%
Assessment Loop
4. Use for
improvement
1. Set goals,
ask questions
3. Interpret
findings
2. Gather evidence
Leskes, A. & Wright, B. (2005). The Art and Science of Assessing General Education Outcomes: A Practical Guide. Washington,
DC: AAC&U Publications.
Use for Improvement – OSI wide

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
Results indicate need for more opportunities for deep
reflection so students can connect experiences with
outcomes.
There is a need for more collaborations across functional
areas. Shared language from the strategic priorities can
help facilitate this.
Some direct measures of assessment should be used;
these measures would be a nice comparison to the
current self-reported data.
Use for Improvement – Lead IUPUI

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
Results indicate consistency in reported learning with
different groups of students overtime.
As an action item from previous assessment reports,
more long-term experiences have been developed
and show positive results. A residential based learning
community is being explored.
The Leadership Foundation program saw positive
learning outcomes but spotty attendance and at times,
an inconsistent message. The series was restructured
as a cohort program with more direct staff facilitation.
Use for Improvement– Lead IUPUI

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The additional qualitative measures allowed for a
deeper understanding of student learning. More guided
reflection should be explored.
Many students participate in several Lead IUPUI
programs, but assessment does not capture the possible
cumulative effect of participation in multiple programs.
Quantitative feedback for SOLD shows a slight decline,
but the qualitative results showed some of the strongest
connection to learning yet. Strategies are being used to
look for data trends and examine possible explanations
for differences.
Closing Recommendations
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Know your institution culture and context; what is your
collective mission?
Find allies with common interests and priorities
Tell your story, use shared language in learning
outcomes
Start small and grow; integrate into current processes
Make obvious, easy improvements
Help students make connections and document them
Discussion/Questions/Contact
Diana Sims-Harris, M.S.Ed.
Associate Director
&
Chad Ahren, Ph.D.
Director
Office of Student Involvement
Indiana University-Purdue University
Indianapolis
(317) 274-3931
[email protected]
[email protected]
http://life.iupui.edu/osi
Robert W. Aaron, Ph.D.
Director, Assessment and Planning
Division of Student Affairs
Indiana University-Purdue University
Indianapolis
(317) 274-8990
[email protected]
http://life.iupui.edu

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