Assessment Tools – Assessment Matrix

There is never an end to paperwork (screenwork?) in the Assessment Office. This isn’t so much a bad thing as it is just the nature of the metaphorical beast. Each semester needs certain reports created, documents drawn up, and files stored safely away. Because unlike a business model where projects open and then close, education is a revolving door of (hopefully) never ending service to the student body.

The real problem is keeping up with all those different exams, surveys, and day-to-day work sheets. Enter the Assessment Matrix! Now when I first learned about the assessment matrix I was a little let down that I didn’t learn kung fu from it, however it has a similar effect on your workload.

I know stats-fu!
I know stats-fu!

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NSSE 2013 Results: Academic Challenge

Understanding NSSE Results Reporting

You may not be too familiar with how the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) reports the results of its survey. This would make you like most people- myself included before I started telling people about USAO’s results. So, before getting into the main subject of today’s post, allow me to share a few conventions that provide important context within which to consider the numbers that follow

Tip #1: Each NSSE sub-scale is made up of different components; sub-sub-scales, if you will. Since that is pretty hard to say (and to type), I will refer to these as dimensions, though in practice we might use other terms for these. Check out the NSSE Engagement Indicators page for background on each of these dimensions.

  • Academic Challenge
  • Reflective and Integrative Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Quantitative Reasoning

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National Survey of Student Engagement at USAO

Over the next few weeks USAO students will be asked to participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement (commonly known as NSSE). Since we are asking student to participate, I thought it would be a good idea to speak a bit about what NSSE is, what it measures and why it is important to USAO.

What is NSSE?

As the name suggests, NSSE is a survey administered to college students all over the country. At a general level, this survey attempts to quantify the academic experience of first- and last-year students. Survey questions include items measuring difficulty of coursework, perceived grading fairness, and the amount of preparation necessary to pass courses. To a lesser extent, NSSE also measures non-academic experiences such as quality of social interactions and student services. Continue reading →