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Administration of Student Course Ratings, Exam Scoring Will Transfer to Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
To better align academic functions, the administration and oversight of student course ratings and exam scoring is moving from the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment (IEA), under the Office of Academic Affairs. The transition from OIR, which is under the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience, will occur this summer.
“Student course evaluations and exam scoring are more aligned with our office’s mission in terms of using assessment to inform teaching and learning,” says Gerald Edmonds, senior assistant provost for academic affairs. “Both processes will be under the provost’s umbrella, with a primary focus on academics.”
In 2014, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment was created to facilitate a campuswide effort for continual improvement of the student experience at the University and ensure more robust documentation of programs and services. The need for institutionwide assessment was especially important as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education—the University’s federally recognized accrediting body—called for greater emphasis on student learning outcomes assessment. IEA’s assessment working team consults with and provides support and resources to academic programs, departments and units as they implement assessment and action plans and program review.
The transfer of course ratings and exam scoring is another step in building a consolidated portfolio of documentation to ensure student success.
“For the spring semester, OIR will maintain primary responsibility of course ratings and exam scoring, as IEA staff members are trained,” Edmonds says. “We will then begin the transition over the summer, with our staff taking the lead with backup from OIR.”
To accommodate the new responsibilities, one position from OIR, open due to a retirement, was shifted to IEA.
“IEA staff is looking forward to working with faculty, staff and students in continuing to provide these important services to the campus community,” Edmonds says.
Students, faculty and staff shouldn’t notice any difference once the transition is complete, except that exam scoring materials will need to be brought to IEA in Steele Hall. Faculty and staff will be notified when that change occurs.
“We have worked closely with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment on a number of projects over the last couple of years,” says Seth Ovadia, OIR assistant director. “I’m confident that the transition will be seamless.”
Exam scoring, using Scantron forms, is done through a secure manual scanner process. While the bulk of student course evaluations are completed at the end of the fall and spring semesters, course evaluations are administered throughout the year. Toward the end of all courses, students receive an email with a passcode announcing the online evaluation portal is open, and can then evaluate and comment on their courses. The online survey system, built by OIR staff member Julie Hall, generates reports for faculty members.
“The survey allows students to give feedback on their course experience and instructor,” Ovadia says. “We administer over a quarter of a million course evaluations a year.”
The transfer to IEA will allow even greater opportunities for evidence-based decision-making.
“IEA has expertise in learning outcomes and formal assessment,” Ovadia says. “Course evaluations are tied into student learning outcomes, curricular review and academic planning—which Jerry’s staff excels at.”
As the transition is underway, IEA is planning on updates of software, technology and procedures for the future. School and college members of the University Assessment and Accreditation Committee (UAAC) are receiving regular briefings and updates. Individual school/college detail briefings are also underway.
Questions or comments about student course ratings and exam scoring can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.