Action Project


Institution:

University of Saint Mary

Submitted:

2007-01-15


Timeline: Planned project kickoff date: 2007-01-20
Target completion date: 2008-01-01
Actual completion date: A. Give this Action Project a short title in 10 words or fewer: Data-based Decision Making--Phase II   B. Describe this Action Project's goal in 100 words or fewer:Successful completion of this project will allow us to move toward a closed loop system for ongoing improvement university-wide by establishing leading indicators, aligning assessment tools and describing procedures for measuring institutional effectiveness. A systems approach will allow us to access and use relevant data/information and processes for institutional decision-making. This project will be Phase 2 of a multi-phased approach -- we will establish leading indicators for institutional measures of effectiveness; align existing, relevant assessment tools; identify/develop new tools; and describe the process for data-based decision making.
C. Identify the single AQIP Category which the Action Project will most affect or impact:
Primary Category: Planning Continuous Improvement
D. Describe briefly your institution's reasons for taking on this Action Project now -- why the project and its goals are high among your current priorities:
The need to create more systemic and systematic processes for data based decision-making has been voiced at many levels, including recent feedback from employees asked to help identify Action Projects for AQIP. The need for this project has been stressed as a result of two initiatives: 1) a 3-year academic assessment initiative, driven by faculty and staff, highlighted the need for systematic integration of academic data with a university-wide comprehensive system for data collection, analysis, and decision-making; and 2) our self assessment and feedback through Kansas Award for Excellence reinforced our need for formalized processes that ensure institutional effectiveness through data-based decision making. The Summer 2005 conversion to an integrated information system allows us to create and manage a clearinghouse of data collection activities and processes for reports that are easily accessible and that ensure relevant data are used for informed decisions.

E. List the organizational areas - -institutional departments, programs, divisions, or units -- most affected by or involved in this Action Project:
All stakeholders will benefit from a comprehensive system that enables sound rationales for institutional decisions as evidenced by supporting data, including formal student and stakeholder input. Our primary stakeholders, SCLs and Alumnae, will be able to track how strategic initiatives are decided based on trend analysis and to monitor the impact of their financial support in light of mission driven priorities. Additionally, student learning will be enhanced by the identification, analysis, and integration of trend data from both academic and student life. Students will benefit because they will be able to monitor their progress on learning outcomes throughout their programs and their advisors will become more effective in recommending learning experiences that address their development needs.

F. Name and describe briefly the key organizational process(es) that you expect this Action Project to change or improve:
This project will result in enhanced employee input in decisions leading to improvements and change. Because we intend an integrated, systemic process for decision-making, all employees will have a (routine) level of involvement. Employees will have access to relevant information for analyzing progress and determining their priorities. Their efficiency and effectiveness will be increased because redundant paperwork will be reduced and scheduled and timely report information for assessing progress and outcomes will be provided. This will increase buy-in and morale and mitigate anxiety toward institutional change. Clearer expectations and rationale for priorities will be possible, thus unifying and mobilizing staff efforts. Employee satisfaction will also be evaluated and shared.

G. Explain the rationale for the length of time planned for this Action Project (from kickoff to target completion):
In Phase I we evaluated and prioritized existing tools that measure institutional effectiveness. We will build upon and extend this work in Phase II as we finalize the leading indicators for university-wide assessment and develop additional tools to ensure a comprehensive, yet streamlined data-based system for decision making. It is anticipated that we can complete this within 12 months, with the first 3 months dedicated to collaborative identification of leading indicators. The remaining 9 months will be devoted to identification and/or development of additional tools and the alignment of all assessment tools to the leading indicators.

H. Describe how you plan to monitor how successfully your efforts on this Action Project are progressing:
A designated committee will complete Phase II of this Action Project. Work will be divided among members and monthly meetings will be used for status reports and problem-solving. The committee chair will monitor progress toward meeting the established timelines and will report to the President and AQIP team on progress.
I. Describe the overall "outcome" measures or indicators that will tell you whether this Action Project has been a success or failure in achieving its goals:
A report will be produced that describes the leading indicators for institutional measures of effectiveness; aligns assessment tools to indicators and to AQIP criteria; specifies the responsible parties for data collection and analysis; and describes the process for using data and trend analysis across the university.
J. Other information (e.g., publicity, sponsor or champion, etc.):









Institution:   University of Saint Mary
Submitted:   2006-01-18

Timeline:
Planned project kickoff date: 2007-01-16
Target completion date: 2008-01-16
Actual completion date:
A. Give this Action Project a short title in 10 words or fewer:
Data-based Decision Making--Phase II
  
B. Describe this Action Project's goal in 100 words or fewer:
Successful completion of this project will allow us to move toward a closed loop system for ongoing improvement university-wide by establishing leading indicators, aligning assessment tools and describing procedures for measuring institutional effectiveness. A systems approach will allow us to access and use relevant data/information and processes for institutional decision-making. This project will be Phase 2 of a multi-phased approach -- we will establish leading indicators for institutional measures of effectiveness; align existing, relevant assessment tools; identify/develop new tools; and describe the process for data-based decision making.
C. Identify the single AQIP Category which the Action Project will most affect or impact:
Primary Category: Planning Continuous Improvement
D. Describe briefly your institution's reasons for taking on this Action Project now -- why the project and its goals are high among your current priorities:
The need to create more systemic and systematic processes for data based decision-making has been voiced at many levels, including recent feedback from employees asked to help identify Action Projects for AQIP. The need for this project has been stressed as a result of two initiatives: 1) a 3-year academic assessment initiative, driven by faculty and staff, highlighted the need for systematic integration of academic data with a university-wide comprehensive system for data collection, analysis, and decision-making; and 2) our self assessment and feedback through Kansas Award for Excellence reinforced our need for formalized processes that ensure institutional effectiveness through data-based decision making. The Summer 2005 conversion to an integrated information system allows us to create and manage a clearinghouse of data collection activities and processes for reports that are easily accessible and that ensure relevant data are used for informed decisions.
E. List the organizational areas - -institutional departments, programs, divisions, or units -- most affected by or involved in this Action Project:
All stakeholders will benefit from a comprehensive system that enables sound rationales for institutional decisions as evidenced by supporting data, including formal student and stakeholder input. Our primary stakeholders, SCLs and Alumnae, will be able to track how strategic initiatives are decided based on trend analysis and to monitor the impact of their financial support in light of mission driven priorities. Additionally, student learning will be enhanced by the identification, analysis, and integration of trend data from both academic and student life. Students will benefit because they will be able to monitor their progress on learning outcomes throughout their programs and their advisors will become more effective in recommending learning experiences that address their development needs.
F. Name and describe briefly the key organizational process(es) that you expect this Action Project to change or improve:
This project will result in enhanced employee input in decisions leading to improvements and change. Because we intend an integrated, systemic process for decision-making, all employees will have a (routine) level of involvement. Employees will have access to relevant information for analyzing progress and determining their priorities. Their efficiency and effectiveness will be increased because redundant paperwork will be reduced and scheduled and timely report information for assessing progress and outcomes will be provided. This will increase buy-in and morale and mitigate anxiety toward institutional change. Clearer expectations and rationale for priorities will be possible, thus unifying and mobilizing staff efforts. Employee satisfaction will also be evaluated and shared.
G. Explain the rationale for the length of time planned for this Action Project (from kickoff to target completion):
In Phase I we evaluated and prioritized existing tools that measure institutional effectiveness. We will build upon and extend this work in Phase II as we finalize the leading indicators for university-wide assessment and develop additional tools to ensure a comprehensive, yet streamlined data-based system for decision making. It is anticipated that we can complete this within 12 months, with the first 3 months dedicated to collaborative identification of leading indicators. The remaining 9 months will be devoted to identification and/or development of additional tools and the alignment of all assessment tools to the leading indicators.
H. Describe how you plan to monitor how successfully your efforts on this Action Project are progressing:
A designated committee will complete Phase II of this Action Project. Work will be divided among members and monthly meetings will be used for status reports and problem-solving. The committee chair will monitor progress toward meeting the established timelines and will report to the President and AQIP team on progress.
I. Describe the overall "outcome" measures or indicators that will tell you whether this Action Project has been a success or failure in achieving its goals:
A report will be produced that describes the leading indicators for institutional measures of effectiveness; aligns assessment tools to indicators and to AQIP criteria; specifies the responsible parties for data collection and analysis; and describes the process for using data and trend analysis across the university.
J. Other information (e.g., publicity, sponsor or champion, etc.):










The need to create more systemic and systematic processes for data based decision-making has been voiced at many levels, including recent feedback from employees asked to help identify Action Projects for AQIP. The need for this project has been stressed as a result of two initiatives: 1) a 3-year academic assessment initiative, driven by faculty and staff, highlighted the need for systematic integration of academic data with a university-wide comprehensive system for data collection, analysis, and decision-making; and 2) our self assessment and feedback through Kansas Award for Excellence reinforced our need for formalized processes that ensure institutional effectiveness through data-based decision making. The Summer 2005 conversion to an integrated information system allows us to create and manage a clearinghouse of data collection activities and processes for reports that are easily accessible and that ensure relevant data are used for informed decisions.
E. List the organizational areas - -institutional departments, programs, divisions, or units -- most affected by or involved in this Action Project:
All organizational areas will be directly involved in this Action Project since they must finalize the assessment tools and benchmarks by which we assess our overall effectiveness. The academic and student life divisions will finalize the processes and benchmarks for achieving student success and satisfaction. Admissions, marketing, and institutional advancement departments will finalize reports and processes for increasing enrollment, recognition, and fundraising goals. The operations division will align assessment tools, processes, and reports so that financial and employee satisfaction targets can be monitored. The Information Services division will be most affected by providing support to all divisions in establishing reporting protocols.
F. Name and describe briefly the key organizational process(es) that you expect this Action Project to change or improve:
This project will result in enhanced employee input in decisions leading to improvements and change. Because we intend an integrated, systemic process for decision-making, all employees will have a (routine) level of involvement. Employees will have access to relevant information for analyzing progress and determining their priorities. Their efficiency and effectiveness will be increased because redundant paperwork will be reduced and scheduled and timely report information for assessing progress and outcomes will be provided. This will increase buy-in and morale and mitigate anxiety toward institutional change. Clearer expectations and rationale for priorities will be possible, thus unifying and mobilizing staff efforts. Employee satisfaction will also be evaluated and shared.
G. Explain the rationale for the length of time planned for this Action Project (from kickoff to target completion):
In Phase I we evaluated and prioritized existing tools that measure institutional effectiveness. We will build upon and extend this work in Phase II as we finalize the leading indicators for university-wide assessment and develop additional tools to ensure a comprehensive, yet streamlined data-based system for decision making. It is anticipated that we can complete this within 12 months, with the first 3 months dedicated to collaborative identification of leading indicators. The remaining 9 months will be devoted to identification and/or development of additional tools and the alignment of all assessment tools to the leading indicators.
H. Describe how you plan to monitor how successfully your efforts on this Action Project are progressing:
The Administrative Council will designate committee members to complete Phase II of this Action Project. Work will be divided among members and monthly meetings will be used for status reports and problem-solving. The committee chair will monitor progress toward meeting the established timelines and will report to the President and AQIP team on progress.
I. Describe the overall "outcome" measures or indicators that will tell you whether this Action Project has been a success or failure in achieving its goals:
A report will be produced that describes the leading indicators for institutional measures of effectiveness; aligns assessment tools to indicators and to AQIP criteria; specifies the responsible parties for data collection and analysis; and describes the process for using data and trend analysis across the university.
J. Other information (e.g., publicity, sponsor or champion, etc.):
 


Last Action Project Update: 2007-09-11


 
A. Describe the past year's accomplishments and the current status of this Action Project.
The assessment team has made significant progress on this action project. The project now a) Describes the leading indicators and benchmarks for institutional effectiveness
Learning Framework Matrix, which identifies indicators and benchmarks for student learning outcomes, was finalized and distributed May 11, 2007 and identifies specific outcomes to be taught and assessed within every general education requirement.

b) Aligns assessment tools to indicators and to AQIP criteria
Descriptive University Learning Outcome Rubrics and Rating Scale were finalized and distributed May 11, 2007. Rating scale describes levels of competence for rubrics (0-9 scale) to be used regardless of course level or student year. Rubrics, rating scales, and syllabi guidelines distributed by email and on eSpire May 11 and August 1, 2007.

The Administrative Council (President and VPs) is overseeing a process for identifying and distilling key indicators from administrative areas for the comprehensive (university) assessment  piece of alignment with AQIP Criteria.

c) Specifies the responsible parties for data collection and analysis
Database requirements identified and Jenzabar EX user defined fields for University Learning Outcomes  (ULOs) established April 07. ULO fields for all General Education requirements/courses completed. Data collection and entry procedures and personnel requirements identified—to be finalized October 07 and piloted December 2007.

d) Describes the process for using information and trend analysis across the university
Reporting requirements have been identified. Reporting will be integrated within the existing OnGoing Improvement (OGI) process and template.  Methodology and procedures for aggregating, distributing, and showcasing results will be identified Fall 2007.
B. Describe how the institution involved people in work on this Action Project.
A sub-group of the Assessment Committee planned the process and did the logistical work. They sought input, review and approval from the Academic Leadership Council made up of department chairs and from the Assessment Committee as a whole. They presented and led discussions with the faculty as a whole on at least 3 occasions at Faculty Senate, inservice days, and on the eSpire group site dedicated to the Learning Framework and Assessing ULOs.
C. Describe your planned next steps for this Action Project.
Field testing of the data collection process will occur in Fall 2007. The data entry screens will be finalized and the procedures and personnel for data collection, entry, and analysis will be written-up and distributed. Training as needed will occur. After field testing, review of the data points and procedures, with the possibility for revision, will occur at the beginning of the Spring 2008 semester. Report of preliminary results and implications will be prepared.
D. Describe any "effective practice(s)" that resulted from your work on this Action Project.
To identify appropriate measures for learning outcomes, faculty need to have the flexibility to consider, dialogue, and plan for multiple ways of representing student achievement. Faculty were offered this latitude during Faculty Fall Institute when they considered a variety of research-based instructional approaches that would enable students to achieve and represent the learning outcomes through a variety of modalities.
E. What challenges, if any, are you still facing in regards to this Action Project?
 
F. If you would like to discuss the possibility of AQIP providing you help to stimulate progress on this action project, explain your need(s) here and tell us who to contact and when?