I am involved in assessment in three roles. The first is as the professor who completes the assessment plan and report for Philosophy & Religion. The second is as the chair of the General Education Assessment Committee (GEAC). The third is as a member of the Institutional Level Assessment Committee (ILAC). These roles have shaped my perspective on assessment in useful ways. I see it from the perspective of a person who provides data, but also from the perspective of a collector. I see it primarily from the perspective of a faculty member focused on teaching and research, but I also somewhat understand the administrative perspective. My assessment journey began in 2004, so I have been doing it for a while. But my purpose here is not to expound on my backstory, but to discuss Automated Assessment Instruments.
One fundamental challenge of assessment is getting the needed quantity of quality data. Within this challenge are various sub-challenges. One of these is motivating faculty to provide such data—that is, getting them to buy-into the data collection. If faculty buy-in is not earned, they are more likely to provide incomplete assessment data or even no data at all. They are also more likely to provide low-quality data and might even provide fabricated data to simply get the process over with. De-motivated faculty will tend to provide garbage data and, as the old saying goes, garbage in, garbage out.
A second sub-challenge is that data collection costs resources. While people often think of monetary costs, there are also the costs of time, attention, motivation and so on. To illustrate, even if a faculty member is willing to collect data “for free”, it still takes up their limited time, diverts their attention from such tasks as teaching, and chips away at their motivation.
Since resources are always limited (especially at public. . .
News source: A Philosopher’s Blog