Developing and Implementing Program Assessment

Wednesday 1:30pm-4:00pm Lindley: 123
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Eric Pyle, James Madison University

It can be said that if one does not like assessment and evaluation, then education is a poor choice of career. "Assessment" and "evaluation" tend to be used interchangeably, but they have very specific uses when they are applied to programs of study. In this mini-workshop, we will disassemble common geoscience learning tasks to determine student mastery relative to established objectives (the extent to which students are learning), and then subsequently synthesize tasks that can be used to assess student progress relative to program goals (are we doing what we say we are doing). The workshop will conclude with the use of the data generated through assessment in the attachment of value to programs, or evaluation. Participants should bring with them a description of a learning task and a set of program goals.

Some specific themes we will examine include:

  • Defining the program evaluation
  • Planning for Assessment & Evaluation
  • Assessment of Goals and Objectives
  • Analyzing data collected
  • Reporting the results to assign value
Attendees are especially welcome to bring examples of any artifacts that fit into one or more of these categories, whether in prototype or well-developed form. But don't feel like you are not welcome if you do not have one – we all started with a blank slate! But by the time we're done, we will have the raw materials for a cadre of geoscience program assessment consultants.

Presentation Media

Presentation in Powerpoint Program Eval (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 1.7MB Jul18 18)

Presentation in Keynote Program Eval ( 6.4MB Jul18 18)


By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Articulate the reasons why one should engage in systematic program evaluation
  • Design program goals and specific measurable objectives
  • Select and use resources for program assessment and evaluation
  • Ensure that assessments provide meaningful information for program evaluation
  • Examine the means through which the results of assessment and evaluation can be reported


Workshop slides [file ]

1:30 – 1:40 Introductions and reasons for participating

1:40 – 2:00 Defining the program evaluation - Goals, Objectives, and Logic Models

2:00 – 2:30 Planning for assessment and evaluation - Curriculum Mapping, KSDs, and Learning Progressions

2:30 – 3:00 Assessment of goals and objectives - Tasks, Rubrics, Surveys

3:00 – 3:30 Analyzing data collected - Validity, Reliability, and Scoring

3:30 – 4:00 Reporting the results to assign value - Results reporting, Use of Data, Problems & Constraints


Materials used in workshop:

Example Files:

Sample Assessment Tasks/Score sheets:

Ask Eric Pyle @ for password

Other Useful Links: