Office of Academic Assessment











The areas and possible directions for activity listed below do not cover all of the possibilities for directions that mini-grant projects might take.  They are intended to start department conversations for potential mini-grant proposals or other department assessment-related projects. Several areas might also be combined in a single project.


If you would like to discuss an idea for a project before proceeding to complete an application, please feel free to contact the Director of Academic Assessment or any member of the Student Outcomes Assessment Committee.  For ways that mini-grant funding can help with your project, see Use of Mini-Grant Funds. 


Assessment Planning

Assessment Tools and Methods

Use of Assessment Data

Curriculum Development

Communication Strategies

Recordkeeping and Procedures


Assessment Planning


•Research, apply and share assessment issues and strategies related to your academic program area or Liberal Arts Core category.

•Explore ways to involve students in assessment activities and planning.

•Organize a discussion group around a book or set of readings on assessment and explore implications for departmental assessment activities.

•Plan a departmental retreat to review/develop/evaluate department assessment plans and strategies. 

•Systematize data collection efforts to spread them over the time period between Academic Program Reviews. 

•Identify constituent needs with respect to student learning outcomes and program outcomes.

•Review, revise, and/or update student learning outcome statements.
•Examine connections between assessment activities done for an outside accrediting agency and UNI student outcomes assessment procedures and plan ways to make the two work together. 

•Develop ways to add or increase faculty participation in the assessment process.

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Assessment Tools and Methods


•Develop rubrics for evaluating student work used for assessment—e.g., portfolios, writing assignments, projects. 

•Pilot-test the use of an evaluation system for rating student performance for assessment purposes.

•Develop a new assessment tool—e.g., a survey, an assignment or project.

•Examine and implement ways to enhance student motivation to perform well in assessment-related activities.  

•Review/revise/develop student, alumni and employer surveys.

•Learn more about direct methods of assessment and review possible methods to implement. 

•Review and/or pilot test software or special equipment that could be useful to your department’s assessment processes.

•Explore ways to embed assessment methods in classes.

•Explore potential uses and strategies for implementing electronic or paper portfolios for capturing student work.

•Identify and develop/test strategies for making use of external communities (alumni, employers, internship reports, etc.) to validate student learning. 

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Use of Assessment Data


•Create reports/summaries using data that has been collected in the past.

•Enter and analyze data that has been collected but not yet processed. 

•Extend previous findings, e.g., through the use of focus groups, development or revision of additional assessment methods, deeper data analysis, etc. 

•Connect assessment data with specific learning outcomes and create a format for reporting on the data and what has been learned from it.

•Explore connections between various sets of data that have been collected.

•Determine usefulness of current data and explore additional data needs to provide necessary and useful information on student learning outcomes.

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Curriculum Development


•Track program student learning outcomes through courses and course syllabi to determine which outcomes are taught in which courses (i.e., create a “curriculum map”).

•Explore ways to communicate program learning outcomes through course syllabi.

•Create specific strategies for connecting assessment-related data and information with the curricular review process.

•Identify needed curricular changes and create a plan for implementing them.

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Communication Strategies


•Develop a web page to share student learning outcomes for your program with current and potential students and other interested groups.

•Develop ways to include student learning outcomes and assessment-related information and findings in newsletters, brochures, or other department publications.

•Create and/or formalize processes for communicating assessment findings within and outside of your department and/or college.   

•Develop assessment materials and reports, identifying who gets what information when and in what format. 

•Present assessment findings at a department meeting or retreat.

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Recordkeeping and Procedures


•Develop procedures and/or a database for recording and tracking assessment-related data and findings.  

•Create tools/strategies for collecting anecdotal or performance examples of student achievement. 

•Review/revise/develop procedures for yearly/bi-yearly/other regular updating of assessment data and assessment-related activity and results between academic program reviews.

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Note: Mini-grant funding can be requested for a one-time extension of a previously-funded mini-grant project.


[Return to Assessment Mini-Grant Program homepage]


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