The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.
Assessment in SA is often an afterthought, but it is a critical component of our work and future. If I had $1 for every time an administrator or leader asked for data or the impact of the work we do in our Division, I would be a millionaire and wouldn’t have to work another day.
The culture of SA assessment has evolved and impacted policies and procedures as part of accreditation with the inclusion of co-curricular assessment. Some institutions have received lower marks for not doing a very good job of SA assessment, while others are models for the rest of us.
Some of our offices have evolved quicker than our internal processes, and sometimes our core has been lost in the process. SA struggles to remain in a positive light of its academic partners in some institutions. Our profession is constantly attempting to shape and share its story. However, in the process, some of us have abandoned our qualitative lens in search of our quantitative lens.
Because our revival begins now…
Holistic is key
There is a lot of value in multiple methods. There are creative ways to represent our story in metrics that derived from qualitative research. Instead of being controlled by external factors, we need to guide based on external factors. There is value both to qualitative and quantitative methods, but when combined, the possibilities are endless.
Never give up
I have seen some of my SA colleagues silenced in the institution because of their emphasis on feelings and attitudes of students in lieu of quantitative metrics. There is real power in the voice of the student regarding their experience. It is up to us to carry this heavy load to the top of our hierarchical structures and share it with administrators.
We are stronger together. I encourage you to feel assessy and not abandon our impactful storytelling for solely quantitative metrics.
Instead, we need to be holistic in our assessment of the student experience on our campuses through our SA programming. There is both room for predictive analytics and phenomenological studies. There is a community around to support these efforts and never give up. This is a call to support feeling assessy…a revival of our SA lens and the ways we share the story of the student experience BEST.
So let’s make the best of our situation to best support our students.