Assessing Geoscience Programs: Theory and Practice

Workshop Program

Jump down to Tuesday

Sunday, February 22

5:00 Opening Reception and Dinner at the Alumni Guest House Meeting Room & Library, Carleton College

7:30 Welcome, Workshop Goals and Overview - Cathy Manduca, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College

Opening Keynote on Program Assessment: What Difference Does it Make? (PowerPoint 657kB Feb22 09) - Ross Miller, Association of American Colleges and Universities
Discussion: Making the Most of Program Assessment

Monday, February 23

Breakfast at the Country Inn

Developing an Assessment Plan

All workshop activities will take place at the Alumni Guest House Meeting Room, unless noted.

8:45 Opening Remarks

9:00-10:30 Three examples:

10:30-11:00 Break

11:00-12:00 Small Group Discussion: What do we know about what works in creating plans?

Each group will discuss their own experiences, as well as the things they have learned from the essays, and reflect on what suggestions we would give to others.

Create a bulleted list of effective management practices. These could address setting goals, developing the plan, getting buy in, or implementation. You may want to use cautionary tales from the essays to anticipate things that should go on this list. Please upload your list and be prepared to report out in a round robin discussion.

12:00-12:30 Whole Group Synthesis of Recommendations

12:30-2:00 Lunch at Burton Cafeteria

Assessment Tools and Methods

2:00-3:30 Four Examples

3:30-4:00 Break

4:00-5:00 Topical Breakout Groups

Discuss under what circumstances this technique is useful, what kind of questions does this tool answer best, what leads to a successful implementation, and where the challenges lie. Produce a list of findings/recommendations (these could be very specific) and outstanding questions. Upload your list of recommendations. Be prepared to briefly share your most important point.


  • Exit Surveys/Senior Interviews/Student Surveys (Microsoft Word 46kB Feb23 09): George Kipphut, Lee Ann Srogi, Cathy Summa, Char Mehrtens, Cinzia Cervato, Heather Macdonald
  • Alumni Surveys (Microsoft Word 32kB Feb23 09): Steve Lundblad, Leila Gonzales, Nelson Ham, Dirk Baron
  • Portfolios (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 12kB Feb23 09): Al McGrew, Karen Rose Cercone, Dave Dempsey, Steve Moshier, Dale Sawyer, Sheila Roberts
  • Classroom Assessments (Microsoft Word 41kB Feb23 09): John Bartley, Darrell Henry, Bev Johnson, Margaret Boorstein, Ann Bykerk-Kauffman, Sue McGeary, Bernhardt Saini-Eidukat
  • Research Programs/Capstones Experiences (Microsoft Word 22kB Feb23 09): Michael Zieg, Arlo Weil, Eric Peterson, Cam Davidson, Karen Viskupic
  • Assessing Field Work (Microsoft Word 30kB Feb23 09): Mark Hemphill-Haley, Bill Hart, John Geissman, Eric Pyle

5:00-6:30 Making Sense of What We Have Learned

Dinner - Explore Northfield

Tuesday, February 24

Breakfast at the Country Inn

Departmental Reviews

8:45-9:00 Opening remarks

9:00-10:30 Presentation, panel and discussion: What Makes Reviews Work? Considerations from the reviewer and reviewee points of view

Read the departmental review discussion summary

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:45 Designing reviews to address specific goals/issues

Small group activity and reporting out: On your assigned topic(s) discuss what are critical or common problems and questions in this area? How might the departmental review be used to help the department clarify or solve some of these: What would you want to include in the self study (data, comparisons, arguments)? How would you obtain this data? Would you want to ask the external reviewer for some specific comment (if so what)? What might you anticipate that the external reviewer might want to ask? In sum this discussion should provide the guidance that a department needs to successfully complete or address this topic through the review.
For each topic upload your recommendations for effective departmental reviews via this form.


11:45-12:15 Departmental Reviews, Institutional Accreditation, and Discipline-Specific Accreditation Discussion

12:15-12:30 Develop Working Groups

12:30-1:30 Lunch at Burton Cafeteria

Developing Resources for Others

1:45-2:30 Grades and Assessment

2:30-4:30 Working Groups (including break)

Working Group Summary Documents:

Upload your working group's summary

4:30-5:30 Discussion and Synthesis: Promising practices

Read a summary of the synthesis discussion: lessons learned and next steps

5:30-6:30 Next steps, action plans, evaluation

6:30 Final Dinner at Chapati