It’s that time, when people create resolutions to improve something in the new year. You might find it easy to set resolutions about eating right, exercising, stopping bad habits…but be lost about what you want to accomplish with your assessment. Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one, and there are a lot of staff who have successfully reached their assessment goals!
After reading an American Psychological Association article about making your New Year’s resolutions stick (http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resolution.aspx), I thought the suggestions could apply to assessment.
1. Start small—Remember, this is not a dissertation. You do not have to evaluate all your programs (or students) all of the time. Pick one part of one program, pick your executive leaders, pick something you know in your heart is working well. Pick something easy and quick.
2. Change one behavior at a time—Similar to starting small, you don’t have to do it all at one time. Don’t get overwhelmed by all of the assessment options, methods, topics, etc. If you have not done assessment before, think of one area that interests you.
3. Talk about it—Share your ideas and questions with others—in your department, your Assessment Team representative, Student Life Studies….Others can help you overcome your struggles and make assessment less intimidating.
4. Don’t beat yourself up—There is no perfect assessment. Don’t give up if your response rate was low, or students were not as positive in their responses as you thought they would be. Resolve to recover—use the information you do have and revise the assessment for next time.
5. Ask for support—Accept help from those who care, especially Student Life Studies. We can help you feel less overwhelmed and isolated. We can help you with the process and how to make healthy changes for your organization and students.
Student Life Studies here to help you set and reach your assessment goals. You don’t have to do it alone; we are with your every step of the way providing guidance and coaching you to success.
Contact Student Life Studies at (979) 862-5624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.