The following is the Division of Student Development's assessment plan, which has been adapted and modeled after the “Steps in the Assessment Process” in Assessment Practice in Student Affairs, an Application Manual. This plan should serve as the guiding document or check list for departments as they conduct their annual assessment initiatives.
Step 1: Define the Problem
Why are you doing this assessment?
What is/are the program(s) or learning outcome(s) that you are assessing?
What do you want to know?
Step 2: Determine the Purpose of the Study/Assessment Work
What compoenent(s) are you trying to assess?
What information do you need to answer your question(s)?
Step 3: Determine Where to Get the Information Needed
What information already exists?
What/who are possible source of the information you need?
Who are the potential partners to provide support with your assessment?
Step 4: Determine the Best Assessment Methods
Which of these assessment methods are you going to utilize?
- A combination of the two
Step 5: Determine Who to Study
Which group of students (or other stakeholders) do you need to assess to achieve your goal?
Are you collecting a representative sample of the student population?
Is your sample a random sampling of students? Should it be?
Step 6: Determine How Data Will Be Collected
Are you conducting focus groups or individual interviews?
Are you using a survey or questionnaire?
Are you analyzing documents or making observations (such as tracking participation)?
Step 7: Determine What Instruments Will Be Used
Based on your assessment method, which instrument is the most appropriate?
Is there an already established instrument that you can use?
Do you need to create your own instrument?
What instrument will best yield the information you need to solve the problem?
Step 8: Determine Who Should Collect the Data
Is your staff the most appropriate choice to collect the data? Do you need a third party?
Will the collector of the data sway or influence the data that is being collected? How might this be addressed?
Step 9: Determine How the Data will be Analyzed
Which statistical analyses are most appropriate based on the methods you selected?
What is the meaning behind the data that you collect?
What are the themes, trends, generalizations?
Step 10: Determine the Implications of the Study for Policy and Practice
What action needs to be taken with the information you've gathered?
What policies and practices need to be revised or created because of the findings?
Step 11: Report the Results Effectively
In addition to the division's data collection forms, and annual report, in what other ways can you report the results of your findings? How are you closing the assessment loop? This should involve appropriately sharing information with students.