Prepare: Selection of Institution and Program

Select Your Institution

Many of the discussions and assignments in this course ask you to apply what you are learning to a particular college or university situation. You have the option of focusing your work in this course on the institution where you are currently employed or on an institution of your choosing. You might choose an institution that you attended as an undergraduate, an institution where you would like to work sometime, or an institution in your area that has assessment information available through its website.

Select a Course or Program

In preparation for your course project, you should also select a program, course, or lesson on which to focus. This could be an academic course you are teaching, a training course for employees, a student advising session, a degree program, or a one-hour leadership seminar you might offer to students or employees. As you move forward in this class, you will use this course or program as the basis for your Assessment of Learning Plan.


For this assignment, you will apply what you have learned so far in the course about the misunderstanding of—and resulting resistance to—assessment efforts. You will also propose known strategies for navigating the resistance to assessment, as presented in the literature we have read in this course. In this real-world, on-the-job, practical assignment, you will assume the role of a member of student services, an academic department, or another program that serves students. In this scenario, your colleagues have been asked to collaborate on implementing an assessment plan, but there has been some resistance. You will create two email messages:

  1. The first is one you might send to a supervisor who has asked you to look into the controversy regarding assessment.
  2. The second is one you might send to a colleague who you heard complaining about being involved in assessment and recently asked, “What is the administration expecting us to do now?”


Assuming the role of a member of a student services or an academic department or program, develop two email messages as described below. These messages are to be concise and professional. In both email messages, provide citations from the readings thus far in the course to support your position and provide a list of references from the readings that you use for this assignment. Be sure to apply the submission requirements described below.

Please Note: Throughout this course, you should use the assessment process provided in List 1.1, the Four-Step Teaching-Learning-Assessment Process (Suskie, 2018) to guide you.

1.  Establish clear, observable expected goals for student learning

2. Ensure that students have sufficient opportunities to achieve those goals

3. Systematically gather, analyze, and interpret evidence of how well student learning meets those goals

4. Use the resulting information to understand and improve student learning

  • Your first email message should be directed to the head of the department, your direct supervisor, who is aware that there has been some resistance to assessment among those working in your academic department or program. Your supervisor has asked you to report on what assessment is, discuss common obstacles to faculty/staff involvement, and recommend strategies (based on the literature) for how your department can engage faculty or staff members in assessment efforts, and create a culture that supports assessment.
  • The second email message should be directed to a colleague in your department or program, one whom you have heard complain about “what the administration is expecting us to do now.” In this more informal email message, persuade your colleague of the value of assessment and the reasons they should be involved, referencing the literature you have read in this course.

Submission Requirements

Your submission should meet the following requirements:

  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • Resources: Support ideas, claims, and concepts with evidence from scholarly literature. In graduate writing, you should aim to include references to the literature in every paragraph you write, in order to make an effective, persuasive, academic argument.
  • APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to current APA Style and Formatting requirements.
  • Length: 1–1.5 pages for each email message (for a total of 2–3 pages), single-spaced, ****plus a title page and references page.*****


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