Building a Culture of Assessment
Developing Pathways to Foster the Improvement of Student Learning & Student Success
“Create, engage, and support a process that allows individuals to pursue exciting and effective practices & pedagogy by building thriving communities that lead to deep learning & student success.”
“Assessment is the most valid way of demonstrating the effectiveness of services, programs, and facilities, especially in defending and promoting higher education, and also in meeting accreditation standards."
-Upcraft & Schuh, 2001
A culture of assessment occurs when information is regularly collected for making decisions that inform our practices and contribute to student success. Building a culture of evidence engages others in sharing practices that are effective and allows for discussions related to improvement. In the end, the results of our work contribute to an institution’s ability to reach strategic goals, accreditation requirements, and fulfill the institution’s mission in transformative ways.
Assessment is the continuous process of collecting, evaluating, and using information to inform practice and determine the breadth and depth of learning taking place. Evidence can be either direct or indirect. However, it must capture the entire story of a student’s true experience. Data can be quantitative or qualitative “pieces of the picture,” but evidence requires you to put these pieces together in a meaningful way.
Assessment is a vehicle for further unpacking the student experience. In turn, we learn how the spaces created are impacting student learning and contributing to student success. At Bristol Community College, we are committed to determining the breadth and depth of learning taking place, and how and where it takes place. This helps us to understand how well we are effectively delivering learning opportunities. Building the narrative of our students’ experiences, requires collaboration, the inclusion and respect for the practice of teaching and learning (both in the curriculum and the co-curricular experiences) transparency, support, and resources.
It also means creating conditions through relationships and systems where the community can continuously thrive in a culture that leans on evidence to inform practice. This website is an effort to build structures and processes for assessment initiatives that yield thriving communities!
Listen to “The Road Ahead: Building A Culture of Evidence & Practice through Assessment”
Presented by: Danielle Licitra:, Senior Special Coordinator-Institutional Effectiveness
(Transcript can be found here)