Plan for Assessment
Why are you doing evaluation and for whom? Figure out the kinds of data that will be needed to demonstrate the success of the center and its programming to the people and units most directly impacted.
Take Stock: Stakeholders, Needs, and Assets
A foundation for a useful assessment and evaluation plan is to begin with conversation with key stakeholders and constituents about their perceptions of needs, priorities, and outcomes. In concert with this, it is important to consider the institutional context of your center and take stock of and leverage your available resources and assets.
Building Partnerships »Consider what data is persuasive to different stakeholders and constituents. To not do this is to risk a misalignment between the center's efforts and constituents' priorities and goals. For example, DBER faculty may be receptive to pre/post testing and learning science applications with appropriate controls.
Communicating Vision and Mission »Identify the center's goals, vision, and mission. Create a plan that aligns your center goals and expertise, with stakeholder needs and vision. Consider how to align staff skills, with institutional resources, so that you can obtain high quality assessment of the intervention and target audience. Identify and discuss common outcomes and indicators. Use common tools and processes. This allows you to be able to evaluate the impacts of your center and programs. Make sure you are creating and maintaining a "road map" to ensure that new and existing programs align with center mission.
Consider how your assessment and evaluation plan aligns with and advances your institution's mission and strategic plan. Examples might include lowering DFW rates, addressing low student satisfaction with introductory science courses, and increasing student retention.
In addition to gathering formative and summative assessments of their professional development efforts, The Center for STEM Learning (CSL) at CU Boulder has spent time and effort assessing how their programming aligns with the strategic priorities of campus leadership.