Standards 7 and 14 - Middle States Commission on Higher Education

MSCHE Standards:
Institutional Effectiveness (7)
and Student Learning (14)
Dr. Jo Allen, Senior Vice President & Provost
Widener University
Overview of Presentation
Operational Terms
Drivers of assessment
Assessment of institutional effectiveness
Assessment of student learning outcomes
Questions and concerns
Assessment is
… the process of asking and answering
questions that seek to align our stated
intentions with documentable realities. As
such, in higher education, it deals with
courses, programs, policies, procedures,
and operations.
What or who is driving
 who determine the reputable from nonreputable institutions and programs
 who ensure that institutional practices
support the viability and sustainability of
the institution and its offerings
 who represent disciplinary and
institutional interests
Assessment drivers (cont’d.)
• The public: “Ivory Tower,” liberal bias, ratings/rankings?
• Legislators: responsive to citizens’ concerns about
quality, costs, biases….or?
• Prospective faculty: Quality and meaningful contributions
to students’ lives?
• Prospective parents: real learning and preparation for
careers—worth the money?
• Prospective students: How will I measure up? And what
kind of job can I get when I graduate?
• Funding agencies/foundations: evidence of an
institution’s or faculty’s commitment to learning and
knowledge and evidence of [prior] success?
Make no mistake….
Assessment of Institutional
Effectiveness vs. Student Learning
• Institutional effectiveness = the results of
operational processes, policies, duties and
sites—and their success in working
together—to support the management of
the academy [Standard 7]
• Student learning = the results of curricular
and co-curricular experiences designed to
provide students with knowledge and skills
[Standard 14]
Institutional Effectiveness
What Accreditors Want to Know
Institutional Effectiveness:
What Accreditors Want to Know
• Can you verify the effectiveness of operational
contributors to a sustainable educational
• Do you use data and other findings to improve
the quality of your educational and operational
• Do you use those findings to align resources
(financial, staff, curricular, co-curricular) to
enhance desired outcomes?
What sensibilities point to
institutional effectiveness?
What sensibilities point to
institutional effectiveness?
• A well-articulated set of processes for critical functions
• A clear line of responsibility and accountability for critical
• An alignment of the importance of the function and
sufficient resources (staff, budget, training, etc.) to
support the function
• Evidence of institution-wide knowledge of those critical
functions, processes, and lines of responsibility
What kinds of evidence point to
institutional effectiveness?
What kinds of evidence point to
institutional effectiveness?
• Well-managed budgets
• Accreditation and governmental compliance
• Clearly defined and supported shared governance
(board, president, administration, faculty, staff, and
• Articulated communication pathways and strategies
• Consensus on mission, strategic plan, goals,
priorities, etc.
• Student (and other constituencies’) satisfaction
Sites of Institutional Effectiveness
Sites of Institutional Effectiveness
• Processes [existence and transparency] (samples)
– Enrollment: Admissions, financial aid, registration
– Curricular: Advising, progress toward degree completion
– Budgeting: operations/salaries; capital; bond ratings and
ratios; endowment management; benefits; etc.
– Planning: strategic planning, compact planning, curricular
planning, etc.
– Judicial: education/training, communication, sanctions,
– Residence Life: housing selection, training for RAs, conflict
– Advancement: fund-raising, alumni relations, public
relations, government/corporate relations, community
relations, etc.
Sites of Institutional Effectiveness
• Units/Offices of operations (samples)
Deans (school/college)
Center for Advising, Academic Support, etc.
Campus Safety
Institutional Research
Measures of Institutional Effectiveness
How do we measure institutional
• Tangible data: Audited budget statements,
handbooks, enrollment data, institutional data
• Records/reports of activities and/or compliance
• Self-studies pointing to documented evidence
• Surveys of satisfaction, usage, attitudes,
confidence, etc.
• Disciplinary accreditation reports
Student Learning Outcomes
What Accreditors Want to Know
Student Learning Outcomes:
What accreditors want to know…
• Have you articulated your institutional, general
education, and disciplinary/course-based
learning objectives?
– Are the objectives documented? Where?
– Are the objectives measurable?
• Have you actually conducted the assessment to
see if students have learned what you expect
them to learn?
• Did you use your results to maintain or improve
your educational offerings?
• Did changes make a difference?
Learning Outcomes?
Civic engagement
Diversity appreciation
Communication skills
Critical thinking
Collaborative learning
Mathematical or
• Technological
• Scientific competence
• Research skills
• Cultural competence
• Interdisciplinary
• Civic responsibility
• Global competence
• Economic/financial
• Social justice
Measurable Objectives/Outcomes?
• Yes or No Evidence of…
• The degree to which…
• Alignment evidence…
Sites of Evidence?
• Essays/Theses
• Portfolios (faculty or external readers
• Quizzes
• Oral presentations
• Homework assignments
• Lab experiments
• Tests
• Journal entries
• Projects
• Demonstrations
With Assessment of both
Institutional Effectiveness and
Student Learning Outcomes…
Conducted the Assessment?
Analyze, Interpret, Reflect?
What does it all mean?
Make Decisions
Sample Decisions for Institutional
Reallocate staff positions
Re-engineer a process
Cross-train employees
Institute a new policy/practice
Sample Decisions for Learning
Alter the curriculum content
Alter the teaching methodology
Alter the assignments
Alter the schedule
Alter the course rotation
Alter the students
Reassess: Did the alterations help?
More involvement?
More effective?
More efficient?
More sustainable?
More replicable?
Middle States…
• No prescription for your operational
objectives or learning objectives
• No prescription for how you measure
• No prescription for what you do as a result
Middle States
• Evidence of operational objectives and
learning outcomes
• Evidence of measures
• Evidence of analysis and action
• Standard 7:
How is the institution doing?
• Standard 14:
What and how much are the students
Assessment of Institutional Effectiveness &
Student Learning Outcomes:
What is similar?
• A commitment to doing the very best job possible under
whatever conditions exist
• A commitment to recognizing ways that altering those
conditions can affect the outcomes (e.g., labs, field
placements, time of meeting, style of teaching)
• A commitment to recognizing that altering the outcomes can
affect the conditions (e.g., student success in particular
studies attracts more students of certain kinds)
We hold ourselves and our
colleagues accountable for
articulating the intentions of our
work and then measuring the
realities, resulting in designing
and implementing strategies for
improvement over time.
• How are we doing?
• How can we do better?

similar documents