Office of Assessment

Student Affairs Intranet Office of Assessment

Welcome to the Office of Assessment in the Division of Student Affairs!

Formed in 2021, the Office of Assessment in Student Affairs leads assessment efforts and planning in the Division of Student Affairs. Through leadership, training, and collaboration, we promote a culture of assessment to maximize program, service, and operational effectiveness to improve student learning and success at Duke.

Our vision is to create an environment within Student Affairs where assessment is a valued and essential practice, one in which results guide decisions and inform our collective efforts toward student development.

Please contact us at assessment@studentaffairs.duke.edu, or explore to learn more about the annual assessment processsurvey planningtraining and development opportunities, and our work.

 

Annual Assessment Reporting

Each year, units across the Division of Student Affairs contribute to the annual assessment report.  This report is an opportunity to share and celebrate contributions to our collective success as we strive to develop students into ready learners. 

Philosophically, the structure of this report highlights the ways our collective operations support the mission of Student Affairs as voiced in the Norms and Expectations.

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The current Annual Assessment Reporting Guide is available here. Included in the guide are links to the individual reporting sections and instructions for submission, self-assessment rubrics to guide responses, a suggested timeline for completion, and an FAQ. 

For questions on the reporting process, please contact the Office of Assessment at assessment@studentaffairs.duke.edu.


Training and Development

Fall 2021 Assessment Training Schedule

The Office of Assessment is hosting four training sessions this fall.  All sessions are hosted virtually, and recordings and slide decks will be made available following each session. Though voluntary, you may register here for one or more training and receive email reminders about your upcoming session(s).

 

What can assessment do for me? An Introduction of assessment and Learning Outcomes (noon-1pm, September 21)
As a result of this workshop participants will be able to...

  • Describe each part of the assessment cycle;
  • Identify assessment concepts and how they relate to your area;
  • Explore big questions about your unit department.

 

What is a learning outcome? (noon-1pm, October 4)
As a result of this workshop participants will be able to...

  • Describe the differences between learning outcomes and operational outcomes;
  • Understand and apply the key components when writing a learning outcome;
  • Articulate the role a learning outcome plays in the assessment cycle.

 

Methods of Assessment: What else is there other than surveys (noon-1pm, October 27)
As a result of this workshop participants will be able to...

  • Explain multiple methods of assessment;
  • Discuss situations when one method may be more beneficial than another;
  • Identify an existing program, operation, or initiative they work with that would benefit from an alternative assessment approach.

 

Sharing assessment data (noon-1pm, November 9)
As a result of this workshop participants will be able to...

  • Understand why it is important to share assessment results;
  • Articulate the process of assessment data sharing;
  • Identify potential opportunities to share existing assessment reports/data.

If you have questions or would like additional information on these sessions or other training and development opportunities, please email assessment@studentaffairs.duke.edu.


Working with Surveys

Surveys often represent an efficient means of collecting data from our stakeholders. Relatively easy to create, publish, and analyze, they are often the “go-to” method in our assessment toolbox. However, the wide-spread use of surveys across campus contributes to survey fatigue among students, and surveys themselves may not always be the best approach to meet your assessment needs.

If you are considering surveying students, please review the information on our Survey Planning page and submit your plan here.

If you have a planned or existing student data set and you would like to review findings in light of additional student information, please review information on the Data Request page and submit a Data Request.

For more information about surveys or other forms of assessment data collection, please email assessment@studentaffairs.duke.edu.

The Division of Student Affairs has access to student information that could prove useful as you establish or refine internal software solutions or assess the reach and effectiveness of student programs, services, and operations. 

Through the Data Request Form, you are able to specify the nature of your request (e.g., add or edit an existing data feed; add student information to existing survey or participation data), see examples of the type of information we may be able to provide, and request specific information of interest. 

Don't know what you want or need?  That's okay, too!  A general description of what you would like to do can serve as a starting point for follow-up discussion. 

Following submission, staff from Student Affairs Information Technology Services and/or the Office of Assessment will reach out to further discuss your request and ensure we understand the specific need. 

Importantly, the Data Request Form is now the primary means of requesting additional student data.  Funneling requests through a centralized process allows us to better understand the needs and use of student information across the Division and ensure we're protecting student data.  As such, we ask you use this form in lieu of individually contacting members of Student Affairs Information Technology Services, the Office of Assessment, or SISS directly. 

If you have questions or would simply like to know more, please contact us at assessment@studentaffairs.duke.edu

The Office of Assessment wants to keep a pulse on how often students receive surveys from the Division of Student Affairs. While most surveys fall within the exceptions outlined by Institutional Research, we will check to ensure surveys will not compete with others targeting similar student populations, and/or does not need approval from another office.

  • To submit a survey, please use the form found here.
  • Please submit your survey at least 4 weeksbefore you would like to begin data collection.

 What happens after I submit my survey?

After submitting a survey, the Office of Assessment will review and advise on next steps. Based on the calendar, we may ask for adjustments to your data collection window.  Additionally, we may share recommendations about the survey itself (e.g., questions asked, response options, etc.), or suggest alternative methods of assessment. 

Additionally, we can provide guidance as to whether additional review is needed. For example, staff planning to present research and findings at a conference or who want to use data for publication may require IRB approval.  Generally, IRB submissions should be made several months prior to the expected start of data collection.

How do I know if a survey is the best method to collect data for my assessment?

Surveys are sometimes the best approach to data collection. However, given their widespread use, students often suffer from survey fatigue. When survey fatigue is high, data quality and responses rates suffer.

Consider how many possible respondents are in your audience, as well as the kind of information you’re hoping to collect.  Alternative approaches to survey data collection include:

  • Interviews (good for capturing individual experiences; can provide excellent depth of information)
  • Clicker questions embedded in a presentation (akin to a snap poll; provides real-time insight to participants’ knowledge or opinions)
  • Journal assessments (similar to an interview; allows participants to use their own voice in data collection)
  • 30-second reflections (examples include 30-second “papers” or notecard responses to a single question)

Looking for more ideas? Email the Office of Assessment at assessment@studentaffairs.duke.edu to schedule time with us.