The Importance of Faculty Involvement
As an educator, understanding how students are grasping concepts within a program should be a primary concern. Implementing backward design into a course is a useful way to ensure that students are learning effectively. Backward design is a concept developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe that encourages faculty to recognize program learning goals before developing assignments and instructional design. By doing this, instructors are routinely reminded of the purpose for students to grasp concepts in the course and will evidently ease the process of creating assignments and planning instruction methods thereafter.
This process will also make it easier to conduct program assessment and will lead to stronger, more conclusive results. Collecting assessment data informs faculty of student performance and results in evidence to support curricular and other programmatic improvements, so it is important that assessment directly connects to the program goals.
Below are helpful tips for faculty to understand how they can help with assessment at each institutional level:
At the school level:
- Follow updates on the AACSB Continuous Improvement Review process that happens every five years
- Review the accreditation and assessment newsletter (sent every term) to receive updates about accreditation, trends in assessment, and professional development seminars
At the program level:
- Communicate with program chairs to understand curriculum maps to clarify where outcomes are introduced, developed, mastered
- If you see your course at the mastery level on the map, ensure that you have an assignment that address the program learning outcome
At the course level:
- Align student learning outcomes on your syllabus with program learning outcomes
- Encourage students to understand why they are asked to do certain assignments and remind them of the program learning outcomes
By following these steps, assessment can be a smoother process. Being active in the assessment cycle helps program chairs and associate deans understand what improvements need to be made within a program. These improvements will make Graziadio's programs more competitive.