UW-Platteville holds assessment showcase

May 25, 2017
UW-Platteville Seal

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville held its first ever student-centered assessment showcase, “Know Our Students, Know Ourselves,” in the Markee Pioneer Student Center on May 17. More than 100 faculty members and staff were in attendance throughout the day.

Complete with presentations, speakers and workshop activities, this professional development event gave faculty and staff a chance to explore new ways to assess student learning, a topic not always discussed.

“Our faculty and academic staff have to have a strong culture of assessment,” Dr. Elizabeth Throop, UW-Platteville acting provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said. “I hope that the Assessment Showcase is one step towards building and maintaining that culture.”

This event wasn’t established overnight, however. In fact, it required months of planning. Data had been gathered through Compliance Assist, a software that is used for assessment and accreditation purposes. Weekly meetings with a showcase committee were established, and a survey was sent out to faculty and staff to discover assessment interests and questions.

“The Assessment Showcase was actually the brainchild of Dr. Patrick Hagen,” Throop said. “I had charged him this year with really trying to advance assessment on our campus. He came up with the showcase about six months ago, and I thought it was a great idea.”

Hagen, formerly the chair of the Department of Humanities at UW-Platteville and campus dean at UW-Richland, joined the provost’s office last summer as interim assistant provost for Academic Affairs. Soon after, Throop suggested doing something new with assessment.

“This showcase is a specific venue for our faculty and staff to show the work they’re doing in assessing courses, programs and general education experiences with their students,” Hagen said. “I would say that the concept of the showcase comes out of the process in trying to draw more attention to the work we’re doing in academic assessment and moving ourselves a little further along in terms of the accreditation.”

The morning began with a continental breakfast discussion, “A-Talks: Real Assessment Stories,” before attendees separated into breakout sessions. These sessions included curriculum mapping, high impact practices in the building construction management program and embedded indicators.

After breakout sessions, attendees reconvened for a luncheon discussion. Faculty and staff discussed the price of assessment, variety or resources, and how to establish a campus-wide level of assessment. Attendees bounced ideas off of one another to address concerns and answer questions.

In addition to the showcase, eight teams determined a project and will begin work over the summer. Initial results of the project will be shared through a workshop sponsored by the Teaching and Technology Center in the fall. Each team had time during workshop hours to start their projects.

“We wanted to provide a venue for people who are working on assessment, so they could share their findings with their colleagues,” Hagen said. “From the perspective of those people who are newer to college teaching or haven’t been involved with assessment, we wanted to provide them with a venue for learning, finding resources and creating a network. Ultimately, we wanted to further our efforts to create a culture of assessment so that people are thinking of assessment as important to their work.”

Written by: Amanda Bertolozzi, Writer/Editor, Communications, 608-342-7121, bertolozzia@uwplatt.edu


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