For graduate school I was asked to write a fake grant proposal as if I were going to apply for one. I struggled with the assignment, did anything except it, and tried to hide from the deadline. Any time any one ever mentions grant writing it is nearly always followed by “Ugh my life” so I was afraid of it as well–untill now.
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.
Being a polymath sometimes isn’t a brag, it’s a way of life, a work life anyway when you are a librarian. In Lori Goetsch’s 2008 article ‘Reinventing Our Work: New and Emerging Roles for Academic Librarians’ she argues that work in libraries isn’t changing as much as completely being revolutionized to keep pace with civilization’s technological advances.
In short, a librarian in today’s world can’t just know their Library of Congress shelving locations–now they have to be as skilled in computers, customer service, and archives. Once long ago each of these skills was reserved for a specific member of the staff and that was their sole purpose. In the past years that has changed to where each member of the staff has to be able to wear many hats or find a new job.
Today I review the NSSE 2013 results for the Learning With Peers sub scale. This section of the survey asks students to rate the extent to which their university offers opportunities to work with their classmates as part of the learning experience. The sub scale is divided into two (2) dimensions: Collaborative Learning and Discussions With Diverse Others.
Figure 9 displays the average Collaborative Learning score for USAO and each of our comparison groups (for more information about these groups, visit NSSE 2013 Results: Academic Challenge). Analysis failed to uncover any statistically significant differences between these groups. In fact, the same can be said for senior scores for this dimension (see figure 10). Across classifications and comparison groups, students report having opportunities for collaborative learning at about the same rate. Placing these scores in the context of the full scale, we can see that all these are clustered at around the scale midpoint– halfway between sometimes and often.
Why collegiate assessment? Why write about assessment? Why give any tests at all or ever again? These were questions posed to me about my new position at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma by colleagues as I left my last job. They were confused about why we should worry about testing college students. The questions hit hard and left me wondering myself. Continue reading →
‘Test’ tends to be a dirty word. In the classroom it is a looming threat, in congress a shield, and in the Assessment Center our bread-and-butter. Few four letter words conjure such strong polar reactions. Thus it is a hard subject to brooch with how emotional discusses become. It is my belief however that testing has a solid, important, and needed place in education.
Want to use Scantron tests in your class room but don’t have the money to buy a scanner, forms, or time to learn to use them? There is a new simplified testing solution just for you! It is called Akindi and it allows you to print scanner answer documents and grade them for free. Continue reading →