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“Help! My Assessment Results
Are Not What I Expected” -How An Assessment Reporting
Database Can Help
Why is library assessment
necessary?
• Accreditation purposes.
• Fits into the other parts of an
organization: strategic plan,
mission/vision/values, annual reports.
• Result of financial constraints and
increased accountability.
Problem Areas in Developing
Assessment Studies
• Identification of what actually needs to be
assessed.
• Determination of population and sample
size.
• Time-consuming nature of assessment
studies.
Problem Areas in Developing
Assessment Studies
• Selection, creation and implementation
of appropriate tools/methodologies.
– Which assessment models are the
most appropriate?
– Are there models that already exist?
– Do you need to create an in house
one?
• Interpretation and application of results.
Need for Assessment Reporting
Database
• Archives assessment studies all in one
accessible location.
• Provides search-ability for assessment
studies.
• Saves time through the use of existing
assessment models.
Need for Assessment Reporting
Database
• Helps in identifying problem areas during
the initial developmental stage of the
assessment study.
• Assists in the interpretation of results,
when a “tested” model has been used and
results can be compared.
TIMELINE: Creation and History of the
Florida Atlantic University
Assessment Database
Timeline 1998-2000
 1998 -- Southern Association for Colleges and
Schools (SACS) recommends strong, integrated
planning process.
 1999 -- FAU Mission Statement, Goals and
Objectives revised.
 1999 -- Planning objectives developed and
placed on FAU web site.
 Fall 1999 -- FAU Office of Institutional
Effectiveness & Analysis (IEA) Team begins
outcomes assessment planning as a result of
the University’s anticipated next visit by SACS
accreditation team.
Timeline 1998-2000
 Spring 2000 -- Dr. James O. Nichols, wellknown consultant concerning institutional
effectiveness, was invited to FAU to assist with
preparations for the visit by SACS.
 Spring 2001 -- Development of model for the
quality improvement.
 Spring 2001 -- Dr. Nichols’ model was used to
create a template. A template and information
was collected as WORD documents.
 Summer 2001 -- Started a repository to collect
assessment information of all techniques and
studies.
Timeline 2001-2005
• October 2001 -- Phase I planning of an
•
•
electronic database functional . The templates
within the database assure a uniformity of
reporting. Simplifies collection, review,
management and utilization of data.
January 2002 -- Database was created using
Microsoft SQL Server and Active Server Pages
(ASP).
Took paper template and added login and
“Reviewer” comments section (that require
some action be made to an outcome).
Timeline 2001-2005
 Assessment plans can be efficiently managed.
Organized by college and department (serves a
minimum compliance function).
 July 2002 -- Training and implementation. Easy
to learn and use.
 December 2002 -- Presented to SACS.
 Accomplishments completed. Data can be
stored and retrieved easily.
 Public Web site functional.
 Summer 2003 -- New director for IEA team
Timeline 2001-2005
• Completion of the programmatic self-study
•
•
•
during 2003-2004 proved to be easier with this
documentation in place.
A web-based application, users can access the
application from anywhere the Internet is
available.
Faculty/staff have continuous access to data
and the documentation of the entire
assessment process.
Outcome service survey of faculty/staff
Timeline 2005 November 2005 -- Phase II planning of
database
 March 2006 -- Major revision to ASP.net from
ASP
 Mandated “Academic learning compacts.”
 May 2006 -- New assessment director of IEA
team
 Future revision projects are forthcoming.
Accessing the FAU
Assessment Database
Figure 1. Login screen for FAU Assessment Database
Figure 2. Guest view of all the reporting units
Figure 3. View of assessment plans related to a specific unit
Figure 4a. Data related to a specific outcome in a unit
Figure 4b. Data related to a specific outcome in a unit
Future of the FAU
Assessment Database
• The next revision will be in about 6-8
months (fall 2007).
• A search function will be added.
• Revision will be used to integrate the
strategic plan into the assessment
process, “manage planning and
assessment.”
Future of the FAU
Assessment Database
• There will be one set of assessment
reports for all years.
– As goals age, they will be dropped out and
new ones added.
– Public view is only of current
assessments.
Future of the FAU
Assessment Database
• There will be an emphasis on long
range planning.
• Each change is archived, like a wiki.
– Easy way to access this?
– How to connect the repository to the
public view on library’s website?
How can an assessment
database improve overall quality
of library assessments?
• An assessment database with word searchability functions can be an important tool.
– Helps to identify what actually needs to be
assessed and how it previously was assessed.
– Provides access to previous research designs
and methodologies.
– Can help to eliminate the need to create a new
assessment study, which is time-consuming.
How can an assessment
database improve overall quality
of library assessments?
• This tool can be used to integrate
assessment studies with strategic plans.
– Saves time, no double duty reporting.
– Assessment plans all in one place.
– History of assessment plans listed like a
wiki.
How can an assessment
database improve overall quality
of library assessments?
• A “home grown" assessment reporting
database is fairly easy to create and userfriendly.
• Commercial products can increase searchability, but are expensive and not userfriendly, requiring extensive training.
– Examples: TracDat and Weave Online
For More Information
http://home.fau.edu/parrish/web/