ELEMENTS OF ASSESSMENT
Our assessment plan has two elements: one for general education (Part IV a) and one for major fields (Part IV b). Rooted in our educational mission and purposes, the learning goals of our new curriculum provide the conceptual framework for the assessment program. The program will employ multiple measures in order to obtain the body of information needed to document the fulfillment of our mission and to plan adequately for the improvement of our educational program. Initially, we shall be exploring options and developing and experimenting with modes of assessment for each of our learning goals. This exploration and preparation will include workshops addressing the needs and interests of particular groups of faculty. Over the next few years, we shall undoubtedly be changing components of the plan and modes of assessment as we learn what works best.
Three principles have guided our assessment efforts to this point. We expect them to continue to guide us in the future. These are:
- Faculty ownership and control of the assessment process.
- Faculty discussion and approval when faculty are asked to undertake new tasks in the name of assessment.
- Assessment makes sense only when its primary purpose is the improvement of student learning.
Figure 1 offers a schematic representation of the assessment process at Wittenberg. We have accomplished Steps 1 and 2 for general education and for most departments and programs. We are now very much engaged in Step 3. We will begin Steps 4 through 6 during 1995-1996. Improvements to the educational program flowing from Steps 7 and 8 should begin to appear in 1996-97.