The Undergraduate Experience
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ISBN: 978-1-119-05074-2

May 2016 | Jossey-Bass

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Chapter 6 discusses how systematic work to constantly improve institutional performance creates environments where students are able to learn and grow. Focused assessment can identify areas for improvement within an institution and help individuals and institutions to do the hard work necessary to make positive, lasting change.

Action Principles

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  1. Recognize that assessment is fundamental to improvement.
  2. Focus assessment on improving what matters most.
  3. Commit to using evidence to inform changes.
  4. Involve everyone in the process of making change.
  5. Adapt best practices from elsewhere.
  6. Cultivate an ethos of positive restlessness.
  7. Model the process of improvement for students and the institution.

Questions for Reflection

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  1. How would you describe your institution’s culture of assessment and improvement? How much does accreditation drive your assessment work?
  2. What examples can you identify of evidence-informed action at your institution? What lessons can you draw from those examples for your next improvement efforts?
  3. How (and with whom) are you sharing, on and beyond your campus, both the processes and the results of your improvement efforts?
  4. How can you involve more stakeholders, including students and faculty, in improvement initiatives on your campus?
  5. How can you and your institution most effectively model the improvement process for students?
  6. How do you and your institution support professional development to make people and groups capable of using assessment for improvement?
  7. How are you and your institution replicating, celebrating, and rewarding successful improvement efforts?