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Advice for Writing the Annual Report

From UNI Assessment Associates

 

 

Assessment Associates are faculty members who have agreed to serve as peer evaluators for annual assessment reports.  Below you will find helpful advice for writing assessment reports, provided by some of the 2012 Associates.

 

 

 

Tim Gilson, Associate Professor

Educational Leadership & Postsecondary Education

 

The summary of findings is critical in gaining an objective look at the outcomes of program areas. Broad, narrative statements of outcome results can be misleading and their subjective interpretation is troublesome. The best reports are those that use specific data to express the results of those outcomes.

 

 

 

Cindy Juby, Associate Professor

Social Work

 

The best annual reports, and those that are easiest to read, are reports that use the annual report form template provided by the Office of Academic Assessment. 

The best annual reports quantitatively specify the outcome measures and set explicit benchmarks for achievement. For example: "90% of students met the benchmark of 85% passing on the exit exam," rather than "most of the students excelled in the advocacy project."

 

 

Ken McCormick, Professor

Economics

 

1. Use the suggested format.
2. Write clearly and concisely.  Details are important, but meaningless boilerplate does not help.
3. Be honest.  We understand.

 

 

 

Audrey Rule, Associate Professor

Curriculum and Instruction

 

Consider the use of assessments beyond testing--e.g., conduct some sort of exit interview or student survey at or near the end of the program and find out what the issues, hardships, and highlights were for your students; gett feedback after students have actually been working a year or two and have a new perspective (rather than the jump-through-hoops, hurry and graduate with that piece of paper perspective) on what really made the most difference in their preparation; ask the people who will employ your graduates what they think of your program and your graduates. What are the strengths? What do they wish you would instill in your students? What skills are more important?

Directly connect assessments with the goals they are evaluating. If a goal has no assessment, consider adding an assessment (it may be something other than a test like keeping track of the enrollment numbers or job placement numbers or looking at a student satisfaction survey) or consider whether the goal might be re-worded or changed.

 

 

Nicole Skaar, Assistant Professor

Educational Psychology and Foundations

 

The best annual reports are those that clearly link objectives with assessment procedures and with a detailed report of the findings.

 

 

 

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