Frequently asked questions
What is assessment and evaluation?
In practical terms, assessment is any effort to gather, analyze and interpret evidence on what other people think about a specific service, program or issue. Evaluation uses what you discover in the assessment process to improve effectiveness of the service or activity.
How much time does an assessment project take?
The timeline will vary with each project but a good starting point is allowing at least four weeks to design an assessment tool and four weeks for the data analysis after the information is collected. The time needed to collect the data is dependent on your project.
How much does an assessment project cost?
The services of the Student Life Studies staff are free thanks to Student Service Fees. The only costs to you are things such as copies of the assessment tool, postage if the assessment needs to be sent through the mail, and similar project-specific details.
What assessment services does Student Life Studies offer?
We can offer a wide range of services to fit your needs such as:
- Assessment plan development
- Writing student learning outcomes
- Scannable surveys and evaluations
- Web surveys and evaluations
- Data analysis
- Summary report of the results
- Ideas on how to use the results
- Writing program outcomes
Who has Student Life Studies worked with before?
Here are some examples of the student organizations and departments within the Division of Student Affairs with whom we have worked:
- Class Councils
- Fish Camp, T-Camp, Howdy Camp
- Graduate Student Council
- Liberal Arts Student Council
- MSC Committees
- One Army
- Residence Hall Association
- Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference (SBSLC)
- Student Government Association, Student Senate, and SGA Committees
- Student Engineers’ Council
Departments in the Division of Student Affairs:
- Becky Gates Children’s Center
- Corps of Cadets
- Disability Services
- Greek Life
- Information Technology
- Memorial Student Center
- Multicultural Services
- Office of the Commandant
- Offices of the Dean of Student Life
- Recreational Sports
- Residence Life
- Rudder Theatre Complex
- Student Activities
- Student Counseling Service
- Student Health Services
- University Art Collections and Exhibitions
- University Center
How do I get started on an assessment project?
- When you have an idea for a project, check out our helpful guide for thinking through assessment projects: the Assessment Questions Form. We also have Tips on Writing Good Survey Questions that can help you get started, as well as Survey Question Considerations that will frame your project. If you are interested in focus groups, interviews, or another assessment method, our staff can work with you through that process as well.
- Contact Student Life Studies as soon as possible to set up an appointment to discuss your project. We ask that clients allow four weeks for the survey development after the initial meeting. Please share with us any support materials that can help us understand your program or services. This could include mission statements, goals, brochures, existing evaluations and results, schedule of events, etc.
- During the meeting, we will go through the Assessment Questions Form with you to ensure we understand the assessment project you have in mind. As part of the discussion, we will review the options of how to accomplish the project and together we will design an implementation plan.
- When all of the data has been collected, we will analyze the information for you and generate a report according to the needs you have indicated. Keep in mind that the data analysis and report writing may take up to four weeks.
- We will contact you to schedule a meeting once the report has been completed to review the outcomes with you.
- Our staff services are free to student organizations and Division of Student Affairs departments. However, if there are costs associated with your assessment project (i.e., copies, postage, etc.), your organization will be required to fund them.
- Depending on your assessment needs, it takes varying times to complete projects. Please allocate enough time to ensure that all aspects of the project can be accomplished. We encourage you to plan for four weeks between your initial idea and the implementation of the project. Following data collection, we will need approximately 3-4 weeks to analyze the data and write a report for you.