Assessment (including Exit/Senior Surveys)
03/29/2011; 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM G239 & 243 

Summary: Stashu Kybartas from Screen Arts & Cultures gave a brief overview of a programmatic/curricular assessment that his department developed in consultation with CRLT and administered last year.  Prior to this more comprehensive assessment, the department had done ad hoc assessments through facilitated focus groups (invitations to participate in which were emailed to majors with food as an incentive).  There had been a 6 year hiatus of assessment prior to last year’s, which was motivated by a confluence of curricular revision and budget reduction goals.  The department applied for (and won) a CRLT grant to develop, administer, and report the results of an online exit survey, which was emailed to all majors.  The results were a combination of things they felt they already knew but had no concrete evidence for (e.g., students felt that 3cr production courses should be 4cr), surprises (e.g., 20% of their graduates continue on to graduate work in the field), and contradictions (e.g. students rated the value of studies courses high on a closed-ended scale but commented on their irrelevance in an open-ended question).  The results of this survey served largely to confirm the departmental opinion of the curriculum, and support curricular changes the department had already decided on. 

Many departments in attendance already do their own programmatic assessments, generally in exit survey format, and most frequently using either Qualtrics (which has the benefit of being free) or Survey Monkey (which has a free basic package with monthly or annual fees for more feature-rich accounts).  Sample surveys or sets of questions will be archived on the Newnan Advising Center’s (Sharepoint) Online Advisor Handbook site. 

Questions: During the open Q/A and discussion, topics fell into the following categories:

  • Instrument Development:
    • By whom: This seemed to be done by whoever had the time, usually faculty and/or staff advisors.
    • With what resources: This is generally limited to in-house resources (human, financial, technical, etc.), but as mentioned in the case of SAC, CRLT is available for consultation and has some funding for which departments can apply.
    • Focused on what topics: The SAC survey focused on student satisfaction with the program and curriculum. 
  • Survey Administration:  
    • When: As indicated previously, most departments that conduct assessments do so in the form of an exit survey administered online (via email solicitation) at the end of Winter and/or Fall semester. 
    • Using what format/platform: The vast majority of assessments are done in the form of an online survey (using Qualtrics or Survey Monkey).  Focus groups were the only other format mentioned.
    • To whom: Assessments are generally targeted at majors (either all or graduating), but the possibility of assessing students in large introductory classes as a means of getting feedback on why students chose not to pursue a given major was also raised.
  • Result Reporting:  
    • To whom: To whom are the results of assessment activities reported? All departmental faculty, curriculum or UG committees, majors, College administration?
    • For what purposes: Reasons mentioned for the conducting of assessment included:  evaluating current curriculum and potential curricular changes; evaluating course timing and content of course offerings; gauging student satisfaction with departmental programming, advising, support, and services.
    • With what results: What, if any, changes were made to curriculum, programming, course offerings, advising, etc. as a result of assessments?
    • Archived, if so where: Does the department maintain an archive of assessment results for comparative and trend-identification purposes?



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