English instructors have long known the correlation between assessment and learning; fundamentally, we coach our students through the assessment feedback we provide on their writing. We know it is not just our job to set standards, but to create pathways and steps so that students can achieve the standards, and beyond.
Perhaps because so much of what we do in our field revolves around subjective determinations of elusive terms like “satisfactory” and “competent,” whenever we meet for formal slo assessments, the discussion is long and often fraught. And we meet up in hallways and at the copier for more conversation: What worked? What fell flat?
It has always been these conversations that I have found the most invigorating and productive activities in my professional life, second only to my interactions with students as I attempt to turn those conversations to action. Results are important; Tracdat is our repository for results and plans. But we achieve those results at least in part from the knowledge and perspectives we share with each other and Tracdat is neither a good repository discussion nor a forum.
Hence this blog. Think of it as a means of having conversation about assessment before and after the results tabulation, a means of thinking aloud about possibilities, frustrations, current ideas. We can link to articles and post news and share stories.