Finding success on your campus doesn’t have to be a wild goose chase, especially in the arena of assessment in higher education. Whether you are new to assessment or a seasoned leader, it may seem that the closer you get to developing better systems and identifying obstacles, the farther away lasting solutions become. Why is that?
It’s certainly not because of competency or motivation—you know the benefits of continuous improvement, analyzing outcomes and integrating new systems. But overall, an important tool you may have overlooked is an effective, user-friendly assessment process, one that helps you measure progress, encourages reflection, and helps boost productivity of new plans to improve student learning and overall experience.
The 5 Steps of Assessment for Higher Education
The WEAVE Assessment Process has been modeled on best practices based on over 100 collective years of leadership experience in higher education assessment and accreditation, beginning out of Virginia Commonwealth University. The process follows five basic steps to facilitate assessment at your institution. Here’s how.
(W) WRITE expected outcomes/objectives
What do you want your stakeholders to be able to demonstrate, know or do by the end? The outcomes or objectives should include action-verbs, support the mission of the institution and be limited to three to five in total. (Ex. Students will demonstrate proficiency in oral communication.)
(E) ESTABLISH criteria for success
Where are you starting and how will you know if you improved? Collecting initial, specific information at the start of the assessment will prove strategically helpful for comparison later on. At the same time, set achievement targets that include specific numbers or trends that will reflect growth. (Ex. 80% of students will score 3 or higher on the rubric.)
(A) ASSESS performance against criteria
This is a side-by-side comparison of measuring your actual results against your planned goals. This step ensures that you collect regular and accurate data to be analyzed for meaningful conclusions. (Ex. 60% of students scored a 3 or higher.)
(V) VIEW assessment results
With actual results now in hand, the process of analyzing your findings begins. What did you find? What does that mean? What will we do next? At this stage, welcoming others to the process may help with interpretation and refinement of processes and goals. (Ex. Findings: Goal not met. 20% less than target goal scored a 3 or higher.)
(E) EFFECT improvements through action
Otherwise known as “closing the loop.” Here is when you determine how to improve the outcomes themselves or how to improve the assessment process. Action plans should be specific and measurable against the original plan or data discovered. (Ex. Provide tutorials and practice sessions for oral presentations once a month through the tutoring center.)
This assessment process empowers you and your institution to strategically plan, assess and improve outcomes. To start implementing change today, take advantage of our assessment worksheet by downloading our step-by-step guide here. The goal of the WEAVE Assessment Process is to not only help you reach your goals but to help everyone around you find success.
Ready to take the next step with your assessment work?
Weave’s software helps facilitate assessment and accreditation and was built from the ground up around these 5 assessment principles. With Weave, we can help you improve collaboration, drive alignment, provide powerful reporting capabilities – all with an easy setup. You will also get expert user support from a team that has been in your shoes and deeply understands assessment and accreditation.
To see how we can help your institution simplify your assessment and accreditation activities, please request a custom demo below!
Want to see how Weave can help simplify your accreditation and assessment processes?
Fill out the form below for a personalized demo. You’ll receive advice on your current accreditation system, as well as an overview of how Weave can simplify your workflows, improve collaboration and make your assessment and accreditation process a success. Contact Weave Education Today!