Summer is supposed to be slow, right? The more people I talk to, the more people say that summer seems to be almost as busy as the regular school year. That makes it even more important to plan and prepare for assessment when you have the opportunity before getting back into the busy-ness of the semester.
Have you looked at any assessment results you have from the previous academic year? Before you get too far removed from the last semester, now is the time to review results, interpret their meaning, and make plans for the new academic year. If you have results that you need to review, put time on your calendar. Schedule a meeting with yourself and/or other people who might be interested in what you did. That could be colleagues, students, a committee or your supervisor. It helps to share ideas and perspectives with other people.
Summer is also a good time to catch up on your reading. Pull out those journals and newsletters sitting on a shelf that you have been meaning to read. Get on your professional association’s website to access their publications. Look at Amazon.com to see what new books are available. You might even look in other areas than your own functional area. There might be good resources from business, sociology, psychology, or neuroscience that pique your interest. Once again, schedule time with yourself to read and digest the literature that will help you think in a different way.
Make a plan. It’s easy to think of things you could do, but you have to make a concrete plan to implement them before you forget and fall back into your comfort zone of “we’ve always done it that way, and I works.” Put deadlines on your calendar or task list. Again, this may be something you bring in your colleagues or students to help you with. Don’t forget to build in assessment as part of the plan, so you know if your changes are effective.
I do hope that you have some down time in the summer to rejuvenate and refresh. Take some time away from work to clear your mind, so when you return you are ready to begin anew. If you need help, Student Life Studies is always here for you. Just give us a call, email us, or stop by 222 Koldus. We are here to serve.