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American Higher Education in Crises book cover

Join keynote speaker Goldie Blumenstyk for a book signing.

Books are available for pre-purchase for $16.95 (+tax). 
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Conference Program now posted! This year's line-up includes:


OLC Excellence and Effective Practice Award Recipients Announced


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Join Keynoters Goldie Blumenstyck (Chronicle of Higher Education) and Phil Hill and Michael Feldstein (MindWires Consulting)

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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Demystifying Program Assessment: Creating a Sound Infrastructure

Alison Ridge (Benedictine University, USA)
Beth Hennington (Lubbock Christian University, USA)
Michael Shulver (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom)
Polly Smith (Utica College, USA)
Catherine Staite (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 1:30pm
Learning Effectiveness
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Northern Hemisphere A3
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 7

A comprehensive assessment plan is necessary for making data driven program improvements to foster student learning and assess achievement of expected program outcomes. This interactive presentation will allow participants to come away with relevant and effective tools to build a sustainable assessment infrastructure.

Extended Abstract

Establishing and maintaining a comprehensive assessment plan can be a daunting process for faculty and administrators. Yet, it is critical for making data driven decisions to promote student learning, improve curricula, and evaluate achievement of program outcomes. External forces such as accreditation standards and internal university assessment expectations coupled with scarce resources and competing priorities contribute to the challenges faced.

This multidisciplinary presentation will explore effective strategies to assess student learning as well as a wide range of program outcomes. The use of rubrics in online courses, mapping course outcomes to program outcomes, and establishing and maintaining robust data collection and analysis processes will be presented. Effective ways of presenting data to demonstrate achievement of expected outcomes will be examined.

Select exemplars from a myriad of graduate programs representing sociology, health care, business, and government will serve as models allowing participants to draw upon them to develop or enhance current course and program assessment strategies within their own university setting.This interactive presentation will explore barriers to assessment and allow participants to come away with relevant and effective tools to build a sound and sustainable assessment infrastructure.