With campus disruptions caused by COVID-19, some people have questioned whether assessment is still necessary and relevant.
Through scrambling to adjust operations, staff are still driven to provide learning and support opportunities for students. In light of the uncertainty and the changes being made, I believe that now – more than ever – is a critically important time to assess our work. It’s the only way to know if we are delivering on our intended goals and outcomes.
To be clear, I am not saying that you need to:
- Measure everything you previously planned to measure for the academic year
- Deploy the existing instruments you previously planned
- Execute your assessment plans according to timelines set at the beginning of the year or semester
Plans you made last fall could look very different or seem impossible to maintain now. However, I would venture to say that your core purpose and intentions haven’t fundamentally changed. Moreover, the accommodations and adjustments you made raise real questions about engagement and effectiveness.
I am also not suggesting that you should attempt to compare this year directly to past performances, nor to completely condemn or promote your adjusted operations.
However, you’ll still want to determine whether your new intended or expected outcomes are met. Now is a time to stay true to the core of what assessment is, what it stands for, and what it asks of us.