Friday, July 08, 2005

WARNING: YET MORE ASSESSMENT DISCUSSED AHEAD!!!!!!

Although yesterday, I left the WPA workshop with sad steps (and thanks, Bud and Lauren for a great time), but today your humble narrator headed for the assessment institute led by George Meese and Meg Morgan. And sadly, I consider this an important topic. Why sadly, you may ask? Because it was a beautiful, sunny 71 degrees out, and since it was important, I couldn’t play hooky! Grrrrr . . ..

Luckily Meg and George had lots of good ideas to share with us, which they used to lead us through a daylong reflection on the hows, whys and wherefores of program assessment. We talked about first establishing program outcomes and then creating definitions and measures for these outcomes. I’ve started thinking about what kinds of outcomes one might establish for a writing center, how we could define these outcomes and what methods might assess them. I’ve got some ideas for my center, but right now I’m wondering if there are any generalizable outcomes for writing centers? That is, is there anything like the WPA Outcomes Statement that would apply to the center? While I don’t want to be the one to propose a document, I think there probably is, although I’m not sure we’ll ever see such a document written.

In addition to a head stuffed with assessment related ideas, I also came away with *more* stuff to read:

Program Assessment

The Outcomes Book

Developing Sucessful College Writing Programs

And totally unrelated to administrative work:
The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint

A workshop-buddy recommended this last one – apparently, it makes the argument that PowerPoint is the devil. And not only because people seem unable to use it appropriately but because it is fundamentally evil. Sounds like a good read to me.

Somehow, it's morning already. I guess I'd better sign off so I can get some breakfast before the first plenary session begins.

More later, Melissa

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