Making Assessment Work for Your Institution and Your Students

A Center of Inquiry Workshop
October 20–22, 2017

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The goal of this workshop is to help people who wish to develop a plan for kick-starting, rebooting, or extending an assessment project. The workshop is designed to support the work of individuals or teams on a wide range of assessment projects, including general education, departmental, and on- and off-campus program assessment. In terms of the project, our only requirement is that participants identify the student learning outcome(s) and the programs, departments, divisions, or other parts of their institution they are focusing on prior to signing up for the workshop.


What past participants have said

"This was the most productive off-campus workshop I’ve been to. Great structure that moved back and forth between doing, learning from others, and reflecting."

"The designated group time was incredibly helpful. I very much appreciated casual mealtimes which lent themselves well to networking and connecting. Also, the structured expectations/plan and outline for each worktime session were very helpful."

"Excellent facilities and workshop sessions. I learned a lot from the facilitators as well as from fellow colleagues, including a better way to think about assessment and how to get excited about the process."

We design our workshops to serve as a retreat, a time and space for people to step back from the hectic pace of everyday work and reflect on, think about, and create their assessment plans in the company of supportive colleagues. We will provide planning templates that are based on our experience with successful, and unsuccessful, assessment projects at colleges and universities across the country. Teagle Assessment Scholars and Center of Inquiry staff will provide support and guidance throughout the workshop, working directly with participants to help them develop and sharpen their assessment plans and programs. We’ll also have opportunities for participants to share their plans and get feedback from one another.

The focus of Center of Inquiry workshops is different from many other assessment conferences and workshops. We don’t focus on tools, measures, or methods. For us, the most important step in using evidence to improve student learning is to figure out what will work within the unique culture, values, and structures of your institution. And that’s what we focus on: thinking through the challenging work of how to bring people from across the institution together to use evidence to improve the impact of their educational programs for their students. Because every institution is different, the approach must be different for every college or university—there is no standardized approach.

To ensure that we can provide effective support to workshop participants, we keep our workshops small. We have room for 14 projects and/or around 40 people, depending on the number of team projects and the size of the teams. We’ll accept registrations on a first come, first served basis until September 29 or until we reach capacity. The maximum team size is 5 people. If you are interested in bringing a larger team or if you have any questions about the workshop, please contact Kathy Wise.

Feedback from past participants

"As someone entirely new to thinking about assessment, it was refreshing to have an energetic group of facilitators assist us in shaping the kinds of questions to ask. The emphasis on pragmatic solutions, rather than data collection that doesn’t get effectively implemented, was powerful."

"The style and framework of a retreat-like atmosphere was very refreshing because we could have a deliberate focus on just one thing. Even though I feel mentally exhausted, I strangely feel very recharged in another way. Thank you!"


The product of the workshop will be a detailed plan that people can share with institutional leaders and other critical constituencies at their institution and use to guide their work to implement their projects.

After the Workshop

We’ll follow up with participants in the months after the workshop to see how things are going and help them implement, troubleshoot, and revise their plans.

We see these workshops as a way to build a community of assessment practitioners and institutional change leaders—people who will continue to be resources for each other after the workshops end. We’re committed to developing ways to help support this extended community beyond the workshop. Even though our institutions are different, we share the same goals, and we can learn from and adapt the good work of colleagues.


Cost per workshop participant:

$650 registration fee
$350 for food, lodging, and local transportation, includes:

  • Breakfast (2), lunch (2), dinner (2), a reception, snacks, wine and beer
  • 2 nights of hotel accommodations in the campus hotel or a hotel in town
  • Shuttles to and from the Indianapolis airport, shuttles from the local hotel to campus

$1,000 total cost per participant


October 20, 2017

Friday Afternoon

  • The workshop begins at 3:00 p.m.
  • Welcome, introductions, and overview of the workshop
  • Work time to get to know your facilitator, fine tune your goals for the workshop, and prepare a short introduction of your project to share with the group after dinner

Friday Evening

  • Reception
  • Dinner
  • Report out – Workshop participants/teams share short introductions to their projects

October 21, 2017

Saturday Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Presentation by Charles Blaich and Kathy Wise on how to structure useful assessment projects, including lessons learned from the Wabash Study and our 10+ years working with colleges and universities on assessment
  • Work time for participants to develop assessment plans
    • During work times, Teagle Assessment Scholars and Center of Inquiry staff will assist participants, offering advice and serving as a sounding board for the emerging plans

Saturday Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Panel discussions/breakout sessions on best practices for developing useful assessment projects
  • Work time for participants to develop assessment plans

Saturday Evening

  • Dinner
  • Work time to finish assessment plans and develop informal poster presentations on project plans

October 22, 2017

Sunday Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Workshop participants give informal poster presentations on the highlights of their assessment plans
  • Participants schedule post-workshop follow-up conversations with Center of Inquiry staff and Teagle Assessment Scholars
  • Workshop wrap-up and discussion of next steps
  • The workshop ends at 12:30 p.m. with box lunches
















Register here

You do not have to know the names of every team member to register.
Register early to reserve your spot!