Summer Fall 2014

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Summer/Fall 2014 Edition



Welcome back to campus! It’s great to start another academic term with a new group of students in our classes. The energy and vigor of another class of students joining the university community ripple though just about everything we do, including our thinking about what we want our students to learn.

That thought arises in the mind of more than the instructional faculty. It concerns the many talented staff members working with students outside the classroom. Their engagement with student learning is critically important in their co-curricular activities. It amazes me just how many people are working towards the same end.

Understanding the common purposes of our work, the Campus-Wide Assessment Committee and the Co-Curricular Assessment Committee are teaming up to host an Assessment Day on October 2. You will learn more about that event in this edition of the Assessment Spotlight Newsletter.

I think showcasing our assessment work in this way is an exciting opportunity to learn from each other, across campus, in and out of the classroom about best practices in measuring student learning outcomes and using the results to improve what we do to promote even more and better learning.

I look forward to seeing your proposals. I look forward even more to hearing about your assessment of academic and co-curricular impact on student learning. That’s what Assessment Day is all about. I hope you can join us.

Finally, I want to mention an exciting development sponsored by both committees: the creation of a Community of Professional Practice on student learning. After careful deliberation over the summer, we have come up with a D2L course shell that permits the posting of documents – articles, weblinks, videos, and blogs – for discussion by groups with mutual interests in certain aspects of assessment. These groups include college-assessment teams, academic program faculty, co-curricular offices and their staff, anyone and everyone with an interest in or need to learn more about assessment.

Sharon Walters and I will keep you apprised of these various communities and their work together. We want you to figure out which one would capture your imagination, served your purposes, or both!

Stay tuned. Lots of good things are happening this Fall. You’ll see soon enough.

Jim Allen
Associate Provost for Academic Programs


The Campus-Wide Assessment Committee (CWAC) and Co-Curricular Assessment Committee (CoCAC) are hosting a one day Assessment Conference, Thursday, October 1, 2014 (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) in Morris Library. The conference theme is assessing academic and co-curricular impact on student learning. We hope to have both morning and afternoon sessions.

Click here for full details on how to submit a proposal.

Who Should Submit?:  We encourage SIU Carbondale faculty, staff, and graduate students to submit proposals for presentations, panel discussions, and multimedia displays (poster session) for this inaugural conference. 

Why Should You Submit?: To share your scholarly work related to assessment, to share best practices, to discuss what assessment practices worked and didn’t work in your classroom, to discuss ways that academic and non-academic units can work together to share assessment data, to add to your curriculum vitae, or maybe even to present an assessment problem you are dealing with and gain feedback from an audience of peers.

Who Are The Anticipated Audience?: The conference will be designed to meet the needs of faculty, staff, and graduate students who deal with or are interested in learning more about classroom-level and program-level assessment, both academic and co-curricular.

Why Should I Attend?:  To learn more from people already doing good assessment, to receive answers to your assessment related concerns, and to network with on-campus colleagues.

What Type Of Proposal Should I Submit?: We seek proposals that illustrate assessment of all aspects of university life, including classroom, academic support, student life, service learning, etc. Sessions should go beyond the theory of the assessment process to provide specific examples of ongoing academic, co-curricular, and program-level assessment and the application of assessment results in meaningful ways to improve student learning wherever it occurs. We expect participation that reflects the best thinking in the field, informed by theory, research, and practice. We encourage you to focus on assessment results and to address the entire assessment “loop” (i.e., outcomes linked to activity/exam questions, gathering evidence, interpretation, and/or use).

Can You Provide Me With Some Ideas?:  The committees invite proposals for presentations, panel discussions, poster sessions, and multimedia displays on assessment topics that:

  • Reflect innovation and cutting edge content
  • Stimulate and provoke discussion and audience engagement
  • Discuss best practices using approaches for different types of learners
  • Present evidence based on or supported by research
  • Target new, mid-career, and seasoned professionals
  • Demonstrate how to apply evidence to support campus decision-making
  • Provide new approaches to gathering, analyzing, or presenting data
  • Demonstrate new methods or case studies of using evidence to assess and improve student learning
  • Provide demonstrations of new technologies
  • Classroom/co-curricular assessment practices
What If I Think I Might Want To Submit, But Don’t Know For Sure?:  If you have a presentation idea, but don’t know for sure if it is what the Committees are looking for or if you need assistance in fully developing an idea, please contact Sharon Walters at or 453-5669.


In the February 2012 Assessment Spotlight newsletter, we highlighted the Campus-Wide Assessment Committee (CWAC). We are honored to be able to highlight the Co-Curricular Assessment Committee (CoCAC) in this edition.  The Co-Curricular Assessment Committee (under the leadership of Dr. Anne Cooper Moore, Dean of Library Affairs and Dr. James Allen, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs) meets monthly to discuss issues related to non-academic student learning assessment activities occurring on-campus. CoCAC’s current membership includes:


Library Affairs

Dean Anne Cooper Moore (Chair)

Dean of Students – Non-Traditional Students/Single Parent Programs

Deborah Barnett, Coordinator

Auxiliary Services – Student Center- Student Programs

Emily Spann, Coordinator

University College – Exploratory Students

Dr. Jeannie Killian, Academic Advisor

College of Education – Academic Advisement

Kimberly Little, Chief Academic Advisor

University College – University Core Curriculum

Dr. Pat Manfredi, Director

Dean of Students – Fraternity and Sorority Life

Dr. Andy Morgan, Acting Associate Dean

Coordinator, Fraternity & Sorority Life

Auxiliary Services – University Housing

Elizabeth Scally, Associate Director

Library Affairs

Cassie Wagner, Associate Professor

Assessment and Program Review

Dr. Sharon Walters, Assistant Director (Ad Hoc)

The following responses were received from a few of the CoCAC members when asked to share a brief statement related to the importance of assessment.

ANNEDr. Anne Cooper Moore, Dean Library Affairs

Co-Curricular Assessment Committee Chairperson

According to Dean Moore, assessment is important because “we must measure and assess all of our activities to demonstrate the value of our services and collections and to demonstrate our impact on students and their learning. Without assessing our activities, we do not know if what we do is worthwhile or how it might be improved.”

ANDYDr. Andy Morgan, Acting Associate Dean of Students

Coordinator, Fraternity & Sorority Life

Dr. Morgan stated assessment is needed “to prove our department’s self-worth to others.  With continued financial issues within education and within our state, providing evidence that your department’s efforts are leading to or providing student success is a must.  Assessment can provide that evidence.”

KIMKimberly “Kim” Little, Chief Academic Advisor

College of Education

Ms. Little believes “Assessment helps to inform and guide Best Practices allowing stakeholders to create and implement targeted objectives based on student learning outcomes and assists with the positive and proactive transition our units as we define, guide, and support our mission, values and goals.” 

DEBDeborah Barnett, Coordinator

Non-Traditional Student Services

According to Ms. Barnett, “for Non-Traditional Student Services, assessment serves as the primary tool to effectively guide and improve programs and services for students according to our mission and goals.  Assessment also provides direction as to how to best use limited time and resources to maximize student success, persistence, and completion.”

Dr. Pat Manfredi, Director

University Core Curriculum

Dr. Manfredi believes “when done well, assessment allows us to understand better what our students are learning and thereby to build on our strengths, to improve our weaknesses, and to identify gaps in our students' education.”

Dr. Sharon Walters, Assistant Director

Assessment and Program Review

Dr. Walters provided these words of wisdom. “Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.  ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.  ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.  ‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.’”― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.  “Students need to know where they are going and why it is important in order for them to be successful. They will never get there if they don’t know where they are going.”

DougDouglas Reichenberger, Director

University Career Services

Mr. Reichenberger stressed the importance of gathering indirect evidence of student learning when he stated, “The First Destination Survey is important so that the university can track the status of our graduates to determine their success in securing full-time employment or graduate school acceptance.”

He also stated “the internal assessments are important for continuous improvement.  Career Services desires to provide excellent resources, services, events, programs and opportunities for students to discover their passion and career path.  Regular assessment of our resources, services, events and programs will help us continually improve for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Emily Spann, Coordinator

Student Programs

Ms. Spann believes that “as educators, we are here for our students.  It is our responsibility to be engaged with our student’s wants, needs, and desires during their time here at SIU.  Continuous assessment allows departments to capitalize on their strengths while also understanding their areas of improvement.  Assessment of our programs and services allows us to evaluate our currently practices and make informed decisions about our future offerings.”  

Cassie Wagner, Associate Professor and Web Development Librarian

Library Affairs

Cassie believes, “Assessment is one of the best tools we have to improve students' experience at SIU. We can use it to adjust our services, our environment, and our resources to make sure students get the most out of their time with us.”

Here is a brief description of assessment activities occurring (or planned for) in these people’s department/program (Co-Curricular Assessment Committee Member Responses):

Library Affairs provided by Dean Anne Cooper Moore, Co-Curricular Assessment Team Chairperson

Morris Library conducted the Association of Research Libraries LibQUAL+ service quality survey in March 2014 and does so about every four years. This survey is normed across all types of libraries and supports gathering of insightful, open-ended comments. Morris Library gathers collection use data through our Integrated Library System, Interlibrary Loan system, and multiple electronic resource tracking systems.

For example, we record building entrance numbers and seating counts daily. We track questions asked at all service points, instructional sessions taught and their attendance, and online guide creation and use. We track the numbers and types of items added to and within our collections. We contribute to surveys that gather information from ARL member institutions on current research library practices and policies that improve our profession. We participate in developing a culture of assessment in our Library as well as throughout academic libraries in the U.S. and Canada. We collaborate with other co-curricular and curricular units on campus to improve assessment at SIU. We will begin tracking student use of our building and attendance at our instructional sessions beginning in fall 2014 along with most of the other co-curricular units in our building and across campus to develop a record that will demonstrate how our services and activities impact SIU student success. 

Library Affairs provided by Cassie Wagner, Associate Professor and Web Development Librarian

Morris Library is currently working on an analysis of the results of our recent LibQual+ client satisfaction survey. We also assess our collections, services, and teaching on a continual basis.
Dean of Students provided by Dr. Andy Morgan, Acting Associate Dean of Students- Coordinator, Fraternity & Sorority Life

In the Dean of Students Unit we have a variety of departments who do assessment in a variety of ways, such as academic, retention, and graduation data regarding student involvement and those students who are involved in our services, in addition to using the CAS Standards’ Self-Assessment Guides to determine if our departments are meeting national recognized standards for specific departments.   

Academic Advisement provided by Kimberly Little, Chief Academic Advisor, College of Education and Human Services

2014 SIU Summer Summit:

  • ​​The Summit ~ Forming Alliances and Assessment Strategies to Enhance Academic Advising and Student Learning ~ was developed to share best practices with key stakeholders regarding Complete College America, including meta-majors and degree maps; showcase effective ways the Student Success Collaborative platform is being used across campus regarding data analytics; and to share student learning outcomes and Assessment goals for curricular and co-curricular activities.   

EHS Academic Advisement planned assessment activities:

  • EHS academic advisors, with assistance from Dr. Allen and Dr. Walters, are developing an advisement syllabus to assess student learning objectives. Student Learning Objectives are needed for students to understand the role of academic advisors and the student's active role in the academic advisement process. 
  • The advisement syllabus may also serve as an additional tool regarding student dispositions required of students enrolled in our TEP.
  • EHS academic advisors will develop a personal academic advisor portfolio. The portfolio may be updated annually and aide academic advisors with the creation of personal semester and yearly goals to enhance professional and personal development and will help serve as a performance indicator for annual human resource reviews.
  • EHS academic advisors will develop a student rubric to assess each students understanding of the developed learning objectives.
  • EHS academic advisement conducted a student survey of academic advisement.  See link.  A new survey will be created to follow the student learning objectives outline in our advisement syllabus.

Non-Traditional Student Services provided by Deborah Barnett, Coordinator, Non-Traditional Student Services

NTSS measures its contribution to student success through ongoing assessment including: annual needs assessment survey distributed each spring semester to non-traditional students – includes both quantitative and qualitative analysis of key focus areas; end of semester survey to determine satisfaction of services received and impact on overall persistence; tracking of all office contacts and outreach to determine student needs; and ongoing evaluation through individual program assessment and documentation of student feedback.

University Core Curriculum provided by Dr. Pat Manfredi, Director, University Core Curriculum

In the past, we have done assessment in the Core Curriculum on a course by course basis. The new challenge is to assess the program as a whole, or at least large sections of it using the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes ( We would also like to encourage the use of the AACU Value rubrics ( whenever possible.

Assessment and Program Review provided by Dr. Sharon Walters, Assistant Director

We are currently working with the College of Education and Human Services academic advisors to develop an advisement syllabus to assess student learning objectives. We feel it is important for academic advisors to understand the correlation between what they do in advisement and what occurs during the student’s academic career. All academic programs have Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes that should guide the courses that a student completes. In order for students to actively participate in the academic process, they need to understand these Program-Level Student Learning Objectives, the role of academic advisors and most importantly learn to take responsibility for their actions. We hope to develop a template that can be modified to use with other academic units. 

University Career Services provided by Douglas Reichenberger, Director

University Career Services conducts the annual First Destination Survey, which involves all undergraduate seniors as they complete their degree requirements and pursue their career endeavors or advanced education.  The purpose of the survey is to discover the plans of each graduating senior as they prepare to leave SIU.  The annual report is released each December.

For internal assessment, Career Services surveys each student/alumni who engages in a one-on-one meeting with a career adviser.

We also survey students who attend career development classroom presentations or workshops.

Employer/recruiter evaluations are conducted following each Career Fair.

Student Programs provided by Emily Spann, Coordinator of Student Programs

In the upcoming academic year, we hope to challenge ourselves with the collection of additional data via our in-house surveys.  In the past, we have collected data based on preferences on types of programs and the satisfactory thereof.  We hope to widen our pool of students surveyed and use mechanisms in place to provide follow up questions regarding specific events. 


We are pleased to announce that an online “Course” shell has been created to allow faculty, staff, and graduate students to “meet” informally to discuss assessment related issues.  If you would like to join this Online Community of Professional Learners, please e-mail Sharon Walters at

This Community will also meet face-to-face on a monthly basis, not only to discuss issues related to student learning, but also to provide feedback on current assessment methods, to share best practices, to discuss assessment-driven pedagogy, and to give co-curricular specialists a chance to share with academic units. We are also planning monthly brown bag meetings to discuss articles and books related to assessment.  More information will be shared through the listservs.



The August 2014 newsletter from the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) contains a timely and interesting Occasional Paper, “Student Outcomes Assessment Among the New Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Majority.” The newsletter and website contain a wealth of information regarding assessment and transparency.

The Teaching Naked Cycle: Technology Is a Tool, but Psychology Is the New Pedagogy

The Spring 2014 newsletter from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) feature article, “The Teaching Naked Cycle: Technology Is a Tool, but Psychology Is the New Pedagogy” discusses the importance of understanding that technology is just a tool and that educators must remain focused on student learning.


School of Law

We are pleased to announce that a recent survey shows law school graduates are finding jobs.  In an August 6, 2014 news article by Pete Rosenbery, Dean Cynthia L. Fountaine stated, “We have a curriculum that emphasizes practical skills and that gives our students outstanding preparation for practice. Employers know that they can count on SIU Law graduates to hit the ground running in their first jobs.”  This is definitely something to brag about.



Check out the Fall Assessment Showcase newsletter where we will provide you with details about the many assessment activities scheduled for the fall 2014 semester.

question markQUESTIONS?

Each quarter we will present what we believe to be practical information regarding assessment practices. However, because we believe assessment works best when feedback is sought, we encourage you to submit any questions regarding any aspect of the assessment process (i.e., at the course level, department level, college level, etc.) to us at We will attempt to answer these questions in the following quarterly's newsletter and post them on our website under FAQs.

Editor: Dr. Sharon Walters, Assistant Director, Office of Assessment and Program Review,