Questions? Want assistance with assessment? We’re eager to help!
Contact Carol Thurman, SLS Academic Assessment Manager
Why We Assess
Assessment in Serve-Learn-Sustain serves three primary purposes:
- To assess achievement of SLS’s Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
- To use data for continuous program improvement
- 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 to learn more.
How SLS Assessment Works
Serve-Learn-Sustain takes the lead on all of our assessment activities but we rely on faculty and students to participate in them. Faculty have a special role to play in incentivizing students to participate (see below for tips).
SLS Assessment Partnerships
Assessment Partners (Level 1 Affiliates and Faculty) who work with SLS either through foundation courses or partnering with us on assessment identify up to three SLS Student Learning Outcomes that relate to their course and agree to work with us to accomplish our assessment goals in the following way:
WHAT FACULTY DO:
- Align course learning objectives, assessment, and instructional strategies with identified SLS Student Learning Outcomes and list these outcomes on their syllabus
- Use one SLS Assessment Tool from our Teaching Toolkit
- Encourage your students to take an online survey emailed to them at the beginning and end of the semester assessing the student learning outcomes applicable to your course
- Encourage students to participate in an SLS-run student focus group at the end of the semester
- Consider participating in a faculty focus group at the end of the semester intended to help us improve our affiliation program
- Complete a faculty survey at the end of the semester
- Share a few clearly labeled examples of Student Work Projects related to the SLS Student Learning Outcomes (homework, presentations, projects).
- Encourage your students to participate in either the Fall or Spring SLS Student Showcase
SLS SUPPORTS FACULTY WITH:
- A $250 stipend applicable to non-Level 1 Assessment Partners
- Assistance with aligning your course learning objectives, assessment, and instructional strategies with the identified SLOs
- Assistance in using an additional SLS Assessment Tool
- Surveys that include questions designed to assess the SLOs applicable to your course
- A personalized report on your SLS student survey outcomes - and we would be happy to work with you on interpreting and utilizing your results to inform your course
- A copy of the focus group report
- Guidance and collaboration on assessment for your research proposals, journal articles, conference presentations, and public-facing scholarship
Incentivize Student Participation
We encourage faculty to offer incentives for students to participate in SLS assessment activities – such as including a participation grade or extra credit in the syllabus for student participation in surveys and focus groups. Participating in these activities is not only good for SLS but also boosts learning as students 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.
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 ask students and faculty. Additional instruments and assessment resources can be found on our Teaching Toolkit webpage.