Recently our staff was talking about celebrating assessment and ways to recognize the people who do it well. We are thoughtful people, though not always the rah-rah, touchy-feely people, especially when we see assessment as something that you just naturally do in your work. We put on our thinking caps and let the creativity flow. Here are a few ideas that you can incorporate into recognizing those folks who do assessment in your department.
Stress toys: For some, assessment can be anxiety-filled. Help them make it through their next project burning off that stress energy. If you have read and shared the article, “A Simple Model for Learning Improvement: Weigh Pig, Feed Pig, Weigh Pig,” from the great folks at James Madison University, you might purchase stress pigs to remind people that they need to do something more than the assessment to make change happen.
Video: You can record a short video on your phone and send it to them. Recognition doesn’t have to take long, and this would be from the heart, as well as something they could save to view again later.
Divisional recognition: If you have a division newsletter, you might be able to submit some sort of recognition for a particular project or person to thank them for the work they have done. There might be a formal recognition at the division or institutional level that you could apply for (or create your own award!).
Food: Who doesn’t appreciate something good to eat? Hopefully, you might have a list of staff’s favorites foods and know their dietary restrictions. It doesn’t have to be a full meal, but it could be cookies, snow cones, fresh fruit, etc.
Appreciation day: You can always designate a specific day to celebrate the people in your office who have done assessment in the past year. Decorate their office doors, send out an email to your staff, invite people to lunch, etc.
Thank you notes: Taking the time to write a hand-written note means a lot to some staff, especially in times of doing everything electronically.
I hope that gets you started thinking about creative ways to celebrate staff efforts toward assessment. If you need more ideas, feel free to reach out to Student Life Studies staff.