Assessment Expo 2011

February 18, 2011

Thanks to all of those who made the 2011 Expo a great success. This year, we showcased nine exemplary assessment practices from fellow NIU colleagues. Each of these, selected by the University Assessment Panel, was displayed in a poster and discussed at one of the three roundtable discussions held at the event:

ROUND TABLE 1: Use of Rubrics [click name to view each poster]

Anthropology, Mark Mehrer

The assessment concern expressed in my poster is that the assessment process actually be doable and be perceived as 'doable' by the faculty members involved. A well-designed rubric can help simplify and speed the process of evaluating written responses. So, my poster is a pitch for incorporating rubrics in the assessment process.

Economics, Virginia Wilcox-Gok

In the M.A. in Economics program, we assess student performance in econometrics and on the M.A. Research Paper through the use of rubrics. The use of rubrics permits us to apply clear criteria in our evaluations and to quantitatively observe the students’ performance to see if program goals are met. The goal of our poster is to explain the rubrics we use and how we use the information gained through their use.

Planning & Assessment in Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Amy Franklin

Assessment Projects Facilitate Applied Student Learning: Student Affairs & Enrollment Management and the Counseling, Adult, & Higher Education department collaborated to provide students with an applied learning opportunity. Student Assessment Teams in the graduate-level Assessment in Higher Education course developed and implemented assessment projects for various departments within the Division. At the completion of their projects, students submitted a reflective journal which was then reviewed using a rubric to identify student outcomes.

Educational Psychology, Cecil Smith

In the final semester of course work, doctoral students present a portfolio of academic work from their program of study aligned with the first six program learning outcomes. Each doctoral student presents gives a presentation of portfolio to a faculty committee which assesses its quality, using a rubric. Upon successful completion of the portfolio, the student is admitted to doctoral candidacy and then undertakes and completes the dissertation. The student’s dissertation is assessed by the members of the dissertation committee, and a dissertation rubric is used as part of this process as well.

ROUND TABLE 2: College-Wide Assessment [click name to view poster]

College of Business, Amy Buhrow, Beth Towell, Jack Marchewka, Keith Nyquist

Developing and sustaining a culture that embraces the continuous improvement of student learning is central to the NIU College of Business mission. The Assurance of Learning (AOL) process has provided a framework for activities. Continuous communication through faculty development, a newsletter, the Assurance of Learning team, and website has helped embed AOL into the culture of the college.

ROUND TABLE 3: Use of External Assessment [click name to view posters]

Public Health, Sally Conklin & Rebecca Pritchard

Public health majors are assessed in practicum settings using a preceptor survey. This external assessment provides qualitative and quantitative data regarding potential employment success, learning gaps, and accreditation evidence.

Communicative Disorders, Sherrill Morris & Jamie Mayer

Our program's learning outcomes emphasize integration of academic training with clinical practice. Data are collected from embedded course assignments, clinical rubrics, and exit interviews, and have spurred changes in course offerings, skills assessed, and development of remediation plans.

Accountancy, Rebecca Shortridge & Rowene Linden

Many students in the Department of Accountancy participate in internships each year. The department relies on formal feedback (with rubrics) from the internship employers as a direct assessment measures for our students professional business conduct, ability to communicate, and ability to work in a team environment.

Office of Non-Traditional Student Services, Jill Zambito

Staff members in Off-Campus & Non-Traditional Student Services conducted a comprehensive, year-long process consisting of an internal and an external review in FY2009. This process revealed the departments’ strengths and areas for improvement. Specifically as a result of this assessment experience, staff members are creating new ways to better connect with commuters, and assist apartment students.

For more information, please contact the Office of Assessment Services at or call us at 753-8659