Questions? Want assistance with assessment? We’re eager to help!
Contact Carol Thurman, SLS Academic Assessment Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why We Assess
Assessment in Serve-Learn-Sustain serves two primary purposes:
- To assess achievement of SLS’s Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
- To provide data for our accrediting organization, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), that supports our assertions about SLS’s results. Click here for more information about Georgia Tech's accreditation process.
How SLS Assessment Works
Serve-Learn-Sustain takes the lead on all of our assessment activities, listed below, but we rely on faculty, students, and partners to carry out and participate in them. Faculty have a special role to play in incentivizing students to participate (see below for tips).
Right now we are focusing most of our assessment on courses, but eventually we plan to develop a formal assessment system for all of SLS’ co-curricular programs as well.
Basic Assessment Activities
Faculty who affiliate their courses with SLS all commit to participating in basic assessment of SLS SLOs. This entails:
- Two Student Surveys: Students are asked to complete online SLS Student Surveys during the first week of class and again at the end of the semester (see below for sample surveys).
- CIOS Questions: SLS adds additional questions to the CIOS survey. Faculty are encouraged to look at the CIOS questions as they prepare their syllabus.
- Student Work Products: Faculty and project leaders should save copies of student work (homework, presentations, projects) showcasing one or more of the SLS SLOs to submit at the end of the semester (we will request it as part of the Faculty/Project Leader Survey).
- One Faculty/Project Leader Survey: At the end of every semester, SLS asks all faculty and project leaders to complete a short online survey. This is a great chance to give us your feedback on how the semester went and how we can improve our partnership with you.
- Incentives: We encourage faculty to offer incentives for students to participate in SLS assessment activities. For example, consider including a participation grade or extra credit in the syllabus for student participation in SLS surveys, focus groups or event attendance. Participating in these activities is not only good for SLS, but also boosts students learning as they reflect on the course. For survey or focus group participation, faculty can email Carol Thurman and she will send the name of students who have completed the activity.
Additional Assessment Activities
Faculty and project leaders who affiliate their courses/projects with SLS have the opportunity to participate in additional assessment of SLS SLOs:
- Put 1-2 SLOs on your syllabus: In addition to course-specific learning objectives, whenever possible, your syllabus should include one or more of the SLS Student Learning Outcomes addressed by your course. This will show alignment between your course objectives and SLS’s goals and also make transparent to the students what they should expect to learn about your SLS course theme (sustainability, sustainable communities, or community).
- Student Focus Group: At the end of every semester, SLS invites all students in SLS affiliated courses and projects to participate in a Student Focus Group. Faculty should encourage and incentivize their students to participate.
- Faculty/Project Leader Focus Group: SLS also hosts Faculty/Project Leader Focus Groups and we invite all affiliated faculty to participate.
- Use our Assessment Tools: Incorporating additional assessment into your course can improve student learning. SLS has developed a Teaching Toolkit with Assessment (and lots of other) tools. Check them out here. Want help thinking through how to use them? Contact Carol Thurman at email@example.com – she’d love to meet with you!
SLS Assessment Working Group
The SLS Assessment Working Group comprises assessment specialists from across campus and advises SLS on matters relating to the assessment of student learning and programmatic outcomes of the QEP. Click here to learn more.
Sample instruments can be viewed below. They may be tweaked in subsequent semesters but provide examples of the types of questions SLS will be asking based on course theme (sustainability/ sustainable communities/community).