The unit uses its assessment system to improve candidate performance, program quality and unit operations via a four-step assessment loop and process. The oversight for the process (Level 1) begins in the regularly scheduled meetings. The Dean, Department Chairs, and the Director of Assessment and Accreditation review the data from the previous semester and/or academic year to determine areas of strength, areas that need improvement, and the resources that are required to maintain quality teacher and profession preparation. Chairs disseminate information to their department faculty and take action according to the data analysis. The Director of Assessment and Accreditation disseminates information to the members of the Assessment and Accreditation Committee.
The on-going assessment cycle is steered by the AA Committee (Level 2). This level involves the development of a comprehensive and integrated set of evaluation measures at the program and unit levels to monitor candidate performance, as well as manage and improve unit and program operations. For example, the AA Committee developed, piloted, and instituted the Assessment Colloquium as a forum for discussion of program effectiveness both at and across programs within the School of Education in 2009. The AA Committee routinely discusses unit and program assessments, the processes for improved data analysis, and the development of strategies for including all members of the School of Education’s learning community in meaningful conversations about program and unit quality and effectiveness. The AA Committee works closely with both the Council of Chairs and the programs in their respective departments.
In bi-annual Assessment Colloquia (Level 3), faculty, public school partners, and administrative staff meet to examine, discuss, and strategize the best ways to use the data and findings to insure strong program continuity and renewal. Following the structured program meeting portion of a Colloquium, data and findings are shared across programs with the intention of deepening and refining the assessment system; and hence, programs are revised, renewed and/or celebrated via cross-pollination of ideas, processes, patterns, and findings.
In the final phase of the assessment system (Level4), programs meet to discuss the ways and means for continuing strong elements of their program, as well as, strategies and plans for program improvement. At each level of the assessment iterative cycle, data analysis is used to improve candidate performance, program quality, and unit operations. Thus, the Iterative Feedback Loop provides the framework for continuous improvement.