What We Do
Beyond Measuring: Transforming Data into Action
The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) supports continuous quality improvement across the University by providing research and reporting services to support the following endeavors.
The OIE defines assessment as a data-informed, systematic and iterative conversation about teaching and learning that reflects our common ideals about the ways that current and future students will be formed and transformed by their Loyola experience. Using multiple sources of information, faculty and staff collaboratively interpret how and why students demonstrate their achievement of learning outcomes. They then use these insights to formatively adjust their pedagogy and practices to continuously improve courses and programs. OIE’s role is to work as a partner to help units across the university to develop their capacity to set strong learning outcomes and to assess them as a means to improve teaching and learning.
The American Evaluation Association defines evaluation as “a systematic process to determine merit, worth, value, or significance.” Loyola University Chicago engages in a continual process of evaluation, which is supported by data collected and analyzed by the OIE. In addition to the vast amount of data collected, organized, analyzed, and disseminated by our institutional research team, OIE manages the collection of student surveys for course evaluation through the SmartEvals system, as well as the collection of faculty data through the Faculty 180 system. This data is then made available to faculty, staff, and administrators to facilitate the evaluation process through collaborative and reflective interpretation and planning.
Academic Program Review
In the spirit of good practices for the continuous improvement of teaching and learning, academic program review is a specific type of evaluation required at higher education institutions to align the goals of an academic unit and its various programs periodically with a university’s mission, priorities, and strategic plans. The overall purpose of the process at Loyola is to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of each academic unit and its various programs and enhance faculty- and staff-led collaborative, strategic program planning, and improvement efforts.
Action Planning and Continuous Quality Improvement
Universities engage in assessment, evaluation, and review to gather and interpret data, which is then used to inform action plans and develop benchmarks. If this process is to be truly useful in shaping a continuously improving institution, it must be faculty- and staff-led, collaborative, and transparent. The OIE supports this process by providing accurate and reliable data, facilitating a rich and reflective dialogue among a diverse group of stakeholders, and ensuring follow-through with action plans that include benchmarks and processes for monitoring implementation. Our role is not to conduct assessments, evaluations, and program reviews but to support units across the university to facilitate successful action planning and continuous quality improvement.