Using updated assessment processes to transform student learning

Using Anthology Outcomes, UC Clermont has created a culture of assessment focused on actionable use of results

Anthology is an integral part of the college's assessment activities and a valuable partner committed to the college's success.

Susan Riley
Assistant Dean, Academic Initiatives

University of Cincinnati - Clermont selected Anthology because it best met the college's need for an integrated management platform to facilitate and sustain process improvements to institutional and student outcomes assessment. By partnering with Anthology, UC Clermont advanced their work to create a vibrant institutional culture, one committed to meaningful assessment, emphasizing the use of results for continuous improvement, and reducing effort expended on data collection.

About

University of Cincinnati - Clermont

Institution Type: 4-Year Public

Location: Batavia, OH

Organization Size: 3,400

Assessing Learning at the Core and Beyond

UC Clermont has created a transparent, institution-wide approach to learning outcomes assessment by leveraging the Anthology Outcomes platform. UC Clermont is using these core competencies, promoted as the "Clermont Core", as the foundation of its HLC Assessment Academy project and the explicit connection of the student experience to general education. With Outcomes, the five core competencies serve as the institutional outcomes and are assigned to the academic departments and administrative units, which subsequently assign them to undergraduate degree programs, general education courses, and co-curricular areas.

Previously it had been particularly challenging for those disciplines that serve both program and general education requirements to agree on the best approach to assessment activity. The Outcomes platform's Achievement Targets feature allowed for differentiation where needed, without sacrificing the ability to look at outcome achievement in aggregate. In addition, visualizations such as Bloom's Taxonomy and Curriculum Map provide a rich framework for faculty discussion.

“With Outcomes, we're transitioning learning outcomes assessment from the collection of data to the use of results,” said Susan Riley, assistant dean of Academic Initiatives. “For the first time, faculty and staff were involved in the assessment process and talking about how their roles contributed to the core competencies. Outcomes provided the platform for these discussions, and review of actual assessment results was easily accomplished with a few mouse clicks. Outcomes provides visual connections, which creates the opportunity to truly engage faculty and staff across the institution with outcomes assessment to improve student learning.”

Expanding Program Review

UC Clermont began the development of its first administrative unit review process in early 2014 as part of its Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Quality Initiative. The college leveraged some of the Anthology data collection tools that are specialized for co-curricular and administrative assessment needs, like surveys, benchmarks, and rubrics with templates and examples for student affairs functions.

“The integration between the Anthology tools provides staff with a range of options for collecting and reporting assessment data,” Riley said. “Using Anthology for such a broad campus initiative reduces the burden on limited staff resources and enables the college to sustain institutional assessment for continuous improvement.”

Implementing administrative unit review has resulted in a number of changes at the college. In addition to supporting the college's requirement to meet HLC's Criteria for Accreditation and its expectation for ongoing assessment at all levels of the institution - which are tied to systematic performance improvement - the unit review represents a cultural shift in accountability. For the first time in the institution's over 40 year history, the administrative units, including support services and programs, are expected to reflect on their role in student success and institutional effectiveness; participate in co-curricular assessment (as applicable); analyze assessment and satisfaction measures; and use the findings of these processes as the foundation for planning and budgeting. This was the first time that any learning outcomes assessment was completed in any co-curricular area in the history of the college.

Support for Programmatic Accreditation

One of the college's accredited programs was struggling with outcomes assessment, having been placed on warning status after a self-study and site visit from their accreditor. The program faculty leveraged Outcomes to create the assessment outcomes, measures, and results to meet to document an effective, ongoing assessment process. The accrediting body accepted the follow-up report, removed the warning status, and awarded full continuing accreditation status to the program.