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A Year in the Life of an Assessment Coordinator: Reporting

Assessment professionals manage a wide range of responsibilities and deliver diverse impact across their respective institutions. Collaboration is crucial to success.
Assessment professionals manage a wide range of responsibilities and deliver diverse impact across their respective institutions. Collaboration is crucial to success.

This is the final installment of a three-part series that outlines the tasks and decisions a higher education assessment professional should take throughout an academic year. This installment focuses on reporting. The first installment, on assessment planning, can be found here . The second, about data collection is here.

Ah, reporting season: the most wonderful time of the year! The example timeline I propose designates summer as the time to report, but if summer doesn’t work well for you, you can simply adjust the time accordingly.


June 5:

In a divisional meeting, announce that end-of-year reports are due by July 20.

Share templates or data sets to help your colleagues engage in the process.

Remind everyone to involve relevant stakeholders (including staff, faculty and students) in reviewing and interpreting results.

Remind your colleagues that you are available for support reporting. They are not alone—even if they are an office of one.

June 5—June 19:

Offer support to areas completing their reports.

Consider holding a group session (which you can record) to give an overview of templates, remind participants to reference their assessment plans, show them how to access or request data and provide any other relevant considerations for reporting.

Consider holding office hours, inviting your colleagues to drop in with questions.

Schedule meetings with offices you know need extra support or have especially complex data sets.

Review report drafts and offer constructive feedback.

Like assessment plans, review drafts to offer feedback or ask clarifying questions. This can be facilitated by email or through a meeting.

July 6:

Send reminders.

Contact anyone who has not yet completed their reports to remind them of the July 20 deadline.

Continue holding individual meetings with intentionality.

Engage in targeted meetings and outreach for folks who need the most support, even if they don’t reach out for help.

July 20:

With assessment reports due:

Follow up with folks who haven’t completed reports to determine adjusted timelines.

Discuss with divisional or institutional leadership to gauge how much nudging and follow-up you should do.

Review completed reports in conjunction with division or institutional leadership.

Even if directors of each office shared reports with leadership, it doesn’t hurt to offer your feedback to division and institutional leaders directly. Be sure to also thank department folks engaging in assessment to recognize their hard work throughout the year!

July 21—August 1:

Begin divisional and institutional reporting.

Use the down time between assessment cycles to pull together higher-level reporting across the institution.

Share results with institutional stakeholders.

Consider themes that emerge from the process, the experience of those involved and results to inform any goals or strategic initiatives for the coming year.

Enjoy a few weeks of rest and relaxation before the fall planning season starts up again.

Alternatively, you can encourage any extra-eager colleagues to get started on planning as one of the actions from their assessment reports.

So, there you have it: a year in the life of an assessment professional.

This schedule primarily focused on how you can engage and support assessment work occurring throughout a division or institution. It did not encapsulate the other work you might be doing—such as coalition building across the institution, positioning assessment in relation to other institutional strategy or processes, engaging in strategic projects and coordinating higher-level assessment-related projects.

And while I mention professional development here and there, I did not accurately represent how much time you may spend coordinating training, preparing materials and crafting resources to support your institutional assessment processes. Moreover, these suggested timelines don’t capture any engagement you might be doing in creating scholarship, presentations or supporting fellow assessment colleagues by sharing practices and tips for promising practices. In my experience, assessment people are some of the most giving and supportive colleagues I’ve ever met, so reach out and meet some new people, learn together and support one another in collaborative assessment efforts!

Previous articles in this series:

Part one: A Year in the Life of an Assessment Coordinator: Assessment Planning

Part two: A Year in the Life of an Assessment Coordinator: Data Collection

Author Perspective: