Two simple strategies for facilitating meaningful conversations about assessment

Hi! My name is Kristy Crickenberger and I am currently the Assistant Director of Assessment at Washington and Lee University. Previously, I was the Coordinator of Assessment at another institution in Virginia.

At both institutions, I was the “new girl” and had to convince many faculty, program chairs, and department leaders that assessment is meaningful and well worth their precious time. After several combined years at two institutions, and many trials and errors, I have learned some valuable lessons for facilitating meaningful conversations about assessment.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Strategy one: Making a considerable effort to build relationships and creating a collaborative setting for assessment work are key to developing meaningful conversations about student performance, program improvement and innovative assessment strategies. When two professionals are working towards a common goal, building rapport leads to greater accountability and better results. Not only does it make the job more fun, but you can also gain a handful of new friends and acquaintances along the way!
  1. Strategy two: Be enthusiastic. More than likely, if you are an assessment professional, and have been in the role for a long time, you like what you do. You believe in improvement, in accountability, in improving the quality of educational experiences. If this is the case, let your enthusiasm for your work shine through during meetings and presentations. Tell your colleagues why you believe in assessment, why you are passionate about your work. Such excitement is often contagious and will probably inspire those with whom you are working.

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