5 Ways to Get Faculty Buy-In for a Culture of Assessment

September 24, 2014 Kristen Hicks

From the moment you decide you’d like your school to embrace a culture of assessment to the point where it’s implemented, there’s a lot of work to do. One of the most important steps in the process is getting faculty on board with the idea. While it may be tricky, getting faculty buy-in is definitely possible. Use these five tips to bring them into the process more smoothly.

Provide a Clear Explanation

If faculty don’t understand what a culture of assessment really is or why it’s valuable, why should they bother? You need to give your faculty members a clear introduction to what a culture of assessment will mean to them in a tangible, day-by-day sense, as well as what it means for the larger institution from a big-picture perspective. Also, make sure they have access to any resources they need in order to learn how to start implementing more assessment in their courses, and make sure there’s someone they can turn to if they have questions. You don’t want professors hesitant to work with you because of something as simple as being embarrassed that they don’t understand the technology, or something as big as thinking the whole thing’s a waste of time.

Listen to Them

The whole point of bringing a culture of assessment to your institution is to make things better. Your professors are on the front lines every day working with students, so they see things administrators don’t. Talk to them, but more importantly, listen to what they have to say. Their feedback should help shape the goals you hope to achieve and your process for achieving them.

Make It Clear How Important Their Roles Are in the Process

You cannot establish a culture of assessment without the assistance of faculty members. Their cooperation is important for their own courses and necessary for the long-term benefits of assessment. The data from assessment can help them with the students they’re teaching today, and it can help professors teaching those same students two years later. In addition, it can contribute to the data administrators use to make higher-level changes to curriculums or programs. Communicate the goals you’re working to achieve through the use of greater assessment, and make it clear to faculty members that they are a crucial part of the school’s ability to reach those goals.

Find a Champion

The information coming from you will resonate with some faculty members, but others will be more inclined to get on board if they hear it from one of their own. Any member of the faculty that clearly gets it can become your champion and make the case for you.

Show Them the Results

One of the greatest features of embedded assessment is that it comes with a clear record of how well it works. You can show faculty members tangible results. If they’re skeptical at the outset, the compelling evidence will likely play a strong role in swaying them.

 

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