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Why you should be colleagues with your technology people - and not just when something breaks

I’m not a programmer, coder, and/or software engineer. Sometimes I wish I was - the magical things that can happen when one understands the inner workings of creating things that work for computers is something I’ve always been impressed by. However, since I’m not a computer marvel, I’ve found great…

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The Power of Collaboration in Assessment Efforts

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” (Helen Keller)

I recently sent a survey to all Student Affairs employees at my University.  Within minutes, I received an email from a staff member reporting that she completed the survey, but had difficulties with a specific questi…

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You’re a Data Person: Building Data Literacy

A few years ago, I interviewed for my first job in student affairs assessment and to start the conversation one of the interviewers said to me, “So…you’re a data person.”  At the time, I did not know how to respond. Certainly while I was in graduate school I developed a strong background in quantita…

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Performance Measures to Get You to Your Destination

I was recently chatting with a colleague about performance measures. They were sharing with me a less-than-positive experience having been in an organization that used performance measures in connection with their strategic plan. As we spoke I was reminded that performance measures can be a mixed ba…

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Embracing Sisyphus or My First Year Leading University Assessment

I was an assessment ninja.

As a consultant, I could swoop into a campus, help re-establish, re-evaluate, or refine their assessment practice, and leave unnoticed. Nothing left behind but happy villagers and the memory of a moment in time when data started to inform practice.  My campus collaborat…

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Tools to help map the context of the student experience

Blurred colorful globe zoomed in on the united states

Recently, I was asked to talk to a K-20 partnership group about ways to think about student success that might exist in a “bigger picture” context that might go beyond our educational systems. This audience included administrators at our university as well as school officials such as superintend…

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Who Tells Your Story?: Reflections on NASPA’s Annual Conference

In the not-too-distant past, my family and I spent about a year of our lives immersed in the experience of Hamilton.  This included listening to songs from the musical every time we got into the car, a school project featuring Alexander Hamilton, an appearance of the Schuyler sisters in a talent…

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Intentionality: Assessment for Further Learning

As we continue to explore how we thread intentionality throughout the assessment cycle, we reflect on our selection and use of assessment measures, analyzing and sharing results, and utilizing results towards data-driven decision making and improvement. Within each stage of the later half of the ass…

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Intentionality: Entering the Assessment Cycle

Intentional (adjective): done with intention or on purpose; intended; deliberate; planned.

A term we frequently start with when hosting assessment trainings or workshops. While we teach about assessment as being most effective when its integrated into the day to day work of our roles, what we oft…

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Cultivating Curiosity to Build Assessment Culture

 

Simon Sinek is known for his philosophy of starting with why. When writing this post, we thought through our why. Why do we do assessment work? What makes us tick in this field? How do we help others engage with assessment practice in meaningful ways, even in the face of limited resources …

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Making a New Hat out of a Few Old Ones

I still have many notebooks stored in my office with weekly “Work To-Dos” with subheaders of “Events,” “Advising,” “Assessment,” and “Diversity & Dialogue.” In my role within an Office of Student Activities, I coordinated and led the department’s assessment processes, and additionally created and fa…

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Equity and Assessment

Student learning is messy. Developing a culture of evidence and effectiveness can be messy. Assessment is messy. Our cycles and double-looped spirals make is seem so tidy, but assessment is not research. We are not bound by the Scientific Method many of us learned growing up. For many, what we hope …

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Welcome to the Table

Gathering around a table, real or virtual, with assessment practitioners to discuss the trials and triumphs of assessment work in student affairs is a powerful experience; it is also how the idea for this blog was developed. Each month, the SAAL Professional Development Committee (PDC) comes togethe…

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SAAL Blog - COMING SOON IN JANUARY 2018!

To kick off 2018, the Professional Development Committee is excited to announce the introduction of the SAAL Blog! As a part of the SAAL website, the SAAL Blog will offer continuous, varied, and educational content that informs student affairs assessment practice in a creative and approachable manne…

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14 blog posts