Changes in Response to Findings: Creating an Action Plan
One of the most “rushed over” steps of the assessment cycle is how you respond to the findings. Creating an action plan in response to findings is an important part of closing the loop in assessment. The most opportune time to discuss and develop an action plan is at the meeting where you are discussing the findings for the most recently completed academic year.
Keep in mind that action plans are in direct response to specific findings for a specific outcome.
The following “rules of thumb” might help you decide whether or not to take action:
- If the findings prove that the acceptable and ideal targets have been met for a specific outcome, and the faculty as a whole are content with student performance, then no action needs to be taken for that outcome. This decision needs to be documented in your assessment reporting.
- If the findings show that the acceptable target was met, but the ideal target was not, then the faculty can discuss where the weaknesses might be and make some changes to the curriculum or the assessment. These changes would compose an action plan in direct response to those findings for that specific outcome.
- If the acceptable/ideal targets have not been met, then it is more likely than not that some kind of action plan needs to be created. The faculty should discuss the findings and develop a plan to turn student performance around and improve their learning.
As you develop those action plans, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- What is the timeline for implementation?
- Who is going to implement the action?
- How will you assess or measure the success of the action?
- Usually the same measure previously used is appropriate.
- What is the level of priority of this action?
Assessment is a Never Ending Cycle!
Once the actions are on their way to being implemented, the assessment cycle begins again. Using the results for improvement is the goal of assessment.
If you have any questions about assessment of student learning, please contact the OIA Assessment Team.