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Effective assessment practice begins with examining our daily practices and reflecting on why we do what we do in the delivery of our programs and services. In this section of the Student Affairs website, we provide the user with terminology, professional development materials and resources to improve assessment practice. There is an assumption, of course, in the use of these materials that the user has a fundamental understanding of what constitutes “good” assessment practice. 

Few of us are actually trained in assessment; and given this, how do we begin to embrace the concepts and language of assessment? If we, at first, move away from the more technical language of the field and just approach our assessment practice through some simple questions, we will have begun good assessment practice. The following activity is a way to begin the inner and external dialogue regarding our own assessment practice. If you can answer these questions, then you are well on your way to creating an assessment plan.

How to Start an Assessment Conversation: Uncovering the Why, What, Who, How, When and Where of Effective Assessment Practice. In this activity start with the end goal in mind; knowing where you want to end up, you can then work backwards to what needs to be measured and what needs to happen (the content) for the outcomes to occur. Answer the set of questions, and share this information with your colleagues; invite your assessment coordinator to be part of this process too. Download activity