2019 Assessment Conference

2019 Assessment Conference

Building a Flourishing Academic Community with Assessment

Sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs

Friday, October 4, 2019
9 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Ohio Union

Intended Takeaways

  1. Adapt

    Choose a practice to adapt for your own program

  2. Identify

    Identify a colleague who might help or model a useful idea

  3. Connect

    Connect your own student data to the bigger picture, or find a way to use big-picture data to inform your own program outcomes and plans for change

  4. Flourish

    Consider how learning about student outcomes and achievement can help your department and the university to flourish


Pre-Conference Workshop

Thursday, September 26 | 2:30 – 4 p.m.
220 Younkin Success Center

Many faculty members take on a role in program assessment as part of their departmental service. If you are new to assessment or want a refresher, join us for a brief session on the basic process and vocabulary.

Time Details Location
8:30 a.m. Check-in and coffee Great Hall Art Gallery
9 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks
W. Randy Smith, vice provost for academic programs
Michael V. Drake, university president
Performance Hall
9:20 a.m. Institution-Wide Reporting and Data-Driven Improvement: Implications and Ideas for Academic Programs
Gary Kennedy, senior associate director of research, Office of Enrollment Services
Shanna Jaggars, assistant vice provost of research and program assessment, Office of Student Academic Success
Performance Hall
10:15 a.m. Break  
10:30 a.m. Concurrent breakout sessions Breakout Rooms
11:20 a.m. Break  
11:30 a.m. Concurrent breakout sessions Breakout Rooms
12:20 p.m. Lunch begins Performance Hall
12:30 p.m. Closing Plenary
Jonathan Baker, associate director for instructional advancement, Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning
Melinda Rhodes-DiSalvo, associate director for operations and strategic partnerships, Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning
Performance Hall

Session Descriptions

Performance Hall

Gary Kennedy, senior associate director of research
Office of Enrollment Services

Shanna Jaggars, assistant vice provost of research and program assessment
Office of Student Academic Success

Panelists will discuss how assessment data illuminates the “big picture” of the university, including patterns and trends of access and enrollment, what we can learn from institutional data analytics, and Ohio State’s participation in large-scale, data-driven projects (e.g., The American Talent Initiative, University Innovation Alliance, etc.). These projects give us useful baselines for our own program outcomes and student achievement, and provide examples of how to use data for not just reporting, but also improving student outcomes.

10:30 a.m. only

Michelle Jones, PhD, professor
Department of Horticulture and Crop Science

Ann Christy, PhD, professor
Department of Engineering Education

Rosa M Ailabouni Room

The Department of Horticulture and Crop Science and the Department of Engineering Education have recently undertaken graduate curricular renewal projects and are currently at different stages of their processes.

Representatives from both departments will share and answer questions about their experiences, progress, and lessons learned.

This session will be repeated in both time slots.

Darla Munroe, PhD, chair
Department of Geography

Jackie Stotlar, MA, program coordinator
Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Hays Cape Room

The departments of Geography and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies have recently undertaken undergraduate curricular renewal projects and are currently at different stages of the process. Representatives from both departments will share and answer questions about their experiences, progress, and lessons learned.

Deb Grzybowski, PhD, associate professor of practice
Department of Engineering Education

Elena Irwin, PhD, Professor
Department of Agricultural, Environmental & Developmental Economics

Tanya Rutner Hartman Room

As new academic programs are developed, it is useful to create the assessment plan as part of that initial design work. Key faculty from two programs that are currently being created at Ohio State, eSports and Sustainability, will share how they have worked to be sure that they will have ways of collecting and using outcomes data as soon as their programs launch.

11:30 a.m. only

Dan Seward, PhD, senior lecturer and administrative associate for rhetoric, composition & literacy
Department of English

Rosa M. Ailabouni Room

In 2017-18, at the request of the university Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee, the First-Year Writing Program undertook a programmatic evaluation. With the cooperation of faculty and instructors from all Ohio State campuses, the formal element of this process was completed with the submission of a report in July 2018. One further result of this process, however, has been the creation of a culture of data collection for purposes of both direct and indirect assessment that will serve the program in future years. This session will first focus on the principles behind the assessment design and then chronicle the development of materials, collection of data, recruitment and training of readers, evaluation of data, and preparation of the final report. An examination of this process would not be complete without also addressing the complexities of evaluating student writing—the essentially qualitative result of critical thinking and situational awareness—as a component of overall program evaluation. The session will then move to questions about the process and invite the perspectives of colleagues regarding ongoing assessment efforts.

This session will be repeated in both time slots.

Kay Halasek, director
Stephanie Rohdieck, associate director
University Institute for Teaching and Learning

Barbie Tootle Room

Over 2,700 Ohio State instructors have already participated in the first two components of the University Institute for Teaching and Learning (UITL) Teaching Support Program. This session will introduce participants to the third component, Instructional Redesign (IR). Through IR, university teachers intentionally infuse evidence-based practices into instruction with the goal of increasing student learning and enhancing the student experience. We will highlight: 1) IR objectives, pathways, processes and requirements; 2) ways to think about assessing the impact of change in instruction as part of an IR portfolio; and 3) suggestions for leveraging IR to support the goals of unit programs and curriculum.

Caroline Breitenberger, PhD, professor and director
Center for Life Sciences Education

John Johnson, PhD, assistant professor and academic program specialist
Department of Mathematics

Co-presented with the Center for Life Sciences Education Redesign Team and the Mathematics Redesign Team

Suzanne Sharer Room

A STEM course redesign project has been implemented to improve retention of students in STEM majors (particularly underrepresented students). The Center for Life Sciences Education focused on Biology 1113 (first semester Intro Bio), with four project components: a summer institute for faculty to learn about student-centered course design; a shared database of active learning resources; peer-led team learning; and embedded undergraduate research experiences. The Department of Mathematics is conducting a redesign of first-year calculus. This project consists of multiple interventions (sections employing active learning, flipped classroom pilots, open access textbooks) viewed through many lenses (including affective surveys and conceptual pre- and post-tests) and development of a framework for the cohesive interaction of the involved faculty and staff. Data that led to redesign of specific STEM courses, the status of these course redesign projects, and recent assessment efforts regarding the success of students in the redesigned courses will be discussed.

Jonathan Baker, associate director for instructional advancement
Melinda Rhodes-DiSalvo, associate director for operations and strategic partnerships
University Institute for Teaching and Learning

University Institute for Teaching and Learning (UITL) Associate Directors Jonathan Baker and Melinda Rhodes-DiSalvo will present on the current status of the multi-level UITL Teaching Support Program (TSP), launched in the autumn 2018. Data collected as part of the TSP provides a snapshot of institution-wide instructional approach implementation, as well as insight into the pedagogical topics of most interest and value to faculty groups, departments, programs, and colleges. The program also promotes assessment of evidence-based practices deployed in diverse learning contexts across the university.

Presenter Biographies

Jonathan Baker

Jonathan Baker was Assistant Professor in the Columbus State Community College Mathematics Department for a decade. He spent his final seven years there as chairperson where he provided sustained professional development opportunities for over 150 instructors. Dr. Baker currently assists the Department of Statistics in administrative matters and coordinates two courses. He is Drake Institute’s most recently appointed faculty fellow and briefly led the unit during a short transition period . Dr. Baker developed his department’s first online course, conducted college-wide presentations in formative assessment, and has worked with the University’s Advocates & Allies program, and ODI’s Young Scholars Program.

Caroline Breitenberger

Caroline Breitenberger is a Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of the Center for Life Sciences Education. She earned a BS in Chemistry from Ohio University, a PhD in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was awarded OSU’s Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award in 1995 and the President and Provost’s Award for Distinguished Faculty Service in 2016. She is currently a fellow with PULSE (Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education), a nationwide effort to reform biology education at the department level.

Ann D. Christy

Dr. Ann D. Christy is a professor of Engineering Education; professor of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering; and assistant dean for Teaching and Learning in the College of Engineering at the Ohio State University.  She is a registered professional engineer and has won multiple teaching awards at the college, university, and national levels. She is a program evaluator for the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission and a fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Deborah M. Grzybowski

Deborah M. Grzybowski is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. She has been involved with developing and accessing curriculum for nearly 20 years. Her research focuses on making engineering accessible for all, including persons with disabilities and underrepresented students, through innovative curriculum, assessment, and professional development. Infusing and assessing entrepreneurial-minded learning into the first-year curriculum and developing a new undergraduate major in Game Studies and Esports at Ohio State has been her focus for the past year.

Kay Halasek

Kay Halasek was named inaugural director of the Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning in 2016. She also holds an appointment as associate professor of English. As director of the Institute, Halasek leads enterprise initiatives in instructional support for faculty and graduate students and research on and policy development related to teaching and learning. Among her accomplishments is the development of the Drake Institute teaching endorsements, a series of professional learning opportunities specifically designed to support a career-long learning pathways for all teachers at the University. The Drake Institute teaching endorsements were created by and in partnership with the Office of Distance Education and eLearning, University Center for the Advancement of Teaching, and University Libraries.

Elena Irwin

Elena Irwin is faculty director of the Sustainability Institute and a professor of environmental economics in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

A compelling advocate and energetic spokesperson for SI and sustainability at Ohio State, Elena develops and nurtures SI’s academic activities including interdisciplinary research programs and sustainability curriculum development across natural, physical and social sciences, engineering, public health, planning and policy, and the humanities. She leads the overall strategic direction, including cultivating campus-wide collaborative research and curriculum development efforts, partnering with academic units to recruit and mentor Discovery Themes faculty, and working with other faculty and staff leaders to develop partnerships with stakeholders and extramural funding opportunities.

Her research addresses the sustainability of human-natural systems at local and regional scales, with a focus on land use, ecosystem services and integrated models of land-water systems. She has been principal investigator (PI) or Co-PI on multiple research projects totaling over $17 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as private foundations. She is a member of the U.S. EPA Board of Scientific Councilors Sub-Committee for Sustainable and Healthy Communities and co-author of a 2018 report from NSF entitled “Sustainable Urban Systems: Articulating a Long-Term Convergence Research Agenda.” She is a past elected board member of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and the North American Regional Science Council and a member of the National Research Council’s committee on land change modeling. Her research projects include development of a dynamic model of food, energy and water systems for the Great Lakes regional economy; resilient land use and management systems under a changing climate; and urbanization patterns and impacts of land use change on water quality and ecosystem services.

She earned an undergraduate degree in German and history from Washington University in St. Louis and her PhD in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland.

She is the past recipient of a Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America and the North American Regional Science Council’s Hewings Award for distinguished young scholars in regional science. She was recognized in 2015 with an Educator Award from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture association.

Shanna Jaggars

Shanna Smith Jaggars is Assistant Vice Provost of Research and Program Assessment for Ohio State's Office of Student Academic Success, where her research focuses on university programs, services, and policies which aim to improve student success. She also co-chairs Ohio State’s local steering committee for the American Talent Initiative, a national initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies which aims to enroll and graduate 50,000 additional low- and moderate-income students by 2025; and co-leads Ohio State’s Joyce Foundation-funded initiative to improve regional campus-change and community college transfer student success. Prior to joining Ohio State, Dr. Jaggars was Assistant Director of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University. Dr. Jaggars has published extensively on student success topics in academic journals and policy briefs, as well as in her 2015 Harvard Press book Redesigning America's Community Colleges. Her research has directly impacted higher education policy and practice at community colleges across the country, particularly in the areas of developmental coursework, online coursework, curricular design, and student support services.

Teresa A. Johnson

Teresa A. Johnson is an assistant director and the Coordinator for Assessment and Curriculum Design at the Drake Institute. She earned a doctorate in Microbial Ecology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has taught in the sciences at Butler University and at the College of Wooster. Her pedagogical research has focused on classroom assessment techniques and impacts of prior knowledge on student learning in the sciences. Her current interests are course and curriculum design, articulation of learning outcomes, and evaluation of teaching strategies.

John H. Johnson Jr.

John H. Johnson Jr. earned a B.S. in applied mathematics from Texas A&M University in 2005 and earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Howard University 2011. Dr. Johnson started as a postdoc in the Ohio State University Mathematics Department as a Ross Assistant Professor from 2012 until 2015. Currently, he is a Program Specialist and Assistant Professor in the Department.

Dr. Johnson's teaching interest is in using active learning and forming mathematical learning communities to promote and cultivate an environment which improves students’ ability to construct, organize, and demonstrate their knowledge of mathematics, and his research interest is on the interplay between the algebraic structure of the Stone-Čech compactification, dynamics, and combinatorics related to Ramsey theory.

Gary Kennedy

Gary Kennedy is Senior Associate Director for Research in The Office of Student Academic Success, Analysis and Reporting. He is responsible for the design, development and application of statistical models to inform and understand the processes of undergraduate recruitment, admission, retention, and graduation. Prior research includes the assessment of a program designed to retain major-changers (with Virginia Gordon and George Steele) and a course offered by the Dennis Learning Center (with the founder of the program, Bruce Tuckman). His interest as an education psychologist is adolescent learning and motivation and has done work looking at the impact of motivational, self-regulatory, social, and emotional aspects of college student performance during their first term of enrollment.

Darla Munroe

Darla Munroe‘s background is in land economics and human geography, with a focus on human-environment interactions at a landscape level. She studies how changes in land-use systems, such as urban conversion or shifts in agricultural production patterns, affect forests and forest characteristics. She is fascinated by land markets because they both reflect and direct land-use change. Within this framework, she also studies the role of land institutions such as protected areas in enhancing and maintaining forest cover, as well as the role of conservation in shaping ongoing patterns of land conversion.

Melinda Rhodes-DiSalvo

As associate director of the Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning (Drake Institute), Melinda Rhodes-DiSalvo, PhD, supports the future growth, stability and productivity of the Drake Institute to ensure that the institute delivers on its mission to promote and support the culture of teaching excellence. Her responsibilities range from administration and daily operations to instructional support, policy creation and initiative management. She is charged with contributing to and promoting the inquiry and scholarship mission of the institute. Dr. Rhodes-DiSalvo also serves as a liaison for government affairs. Dr. Rhodes-DiSalvo joined the Drake Institute from the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Teaching & Learning and brings with her a background in curriculum design, strategic planning and program development, eLearning and instructional design, assessment and evaluation, and promoting evidence-based instructional approaches, as well as the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Stephanie Rohdieck

Stephanie Rohdieck is Associate Director of Community Engagement for the Drake Institute and has been with that unit and its predecessors since 1999. She is also a senior lecturer in Educational Studies at Ohio State. She is a licensed social worker with a Master’s degree in social work administration and earned her B.A. in psychology and women’s studies. Her current areas of interest are supporting new faculty, teaching in the clinical setting, course design, and training new educational developers.

Dan Seward

Dan Seward teaches undergraduate courses in writing and rhetoric, including lower-division composition, as well as technical, business and professional writing courses. Dan’s other activities include supporting the department’s writing program administration. He has presented on writing program assessment, online writing pedagogy and basic writing at the Conference on College Composition and Communication and at the Council of Writing Program Administrators. His publications in Composition include the Scott, Foresman Writer (with John Ruszkiewicz, Maxine Hairston and Christy Friend) and contributions to the Bedford Bibliography of Research in Online Writing Instruction.

Jackie Stotlar

Jackie Stotlar is the Academic Program Coordinator for the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Jackie returned to WGSS in 2015 after receiving her MA from the Department in 2013. Her areas of interest during her study were LBGTQ identity formation in the Christian right, Ex-gay movements, and the intersections of feminism and business. Jackie has enthusiasm for instructional design, project management, and videography from her experience as a custom corporate training developer. As Academic Program Coordinator, Jackie serves as the liaison between WGSS graduate students and the Graduate School, coordinates course scheduling, and assist faculty with new course development.