Assessment and Analytics in Institutional Transformation
EDUCAUSE Review Volume 46, Number 5, ISSN 1527-6619
U.S. higher education has an extraordinary record of accomplishment in preparing students for leadership, in serving as a wellspring of research and creative endeavor, and in providing public service. Despite this success, colleges and universities are facing an unprecedented set of challenges. To maintain the country's global preeminence, those in higher education are being called on to expand the number of students they educate, increase the proportion of students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and address the pervasive and long-standing underrepresentation of minorities who earn college degrees--all at a time when budgets are being reduced and questions about institutional efficiency and effectiveness are being raised. Those institutions most effective in retaining and graduating students have focused on supporting their students by creating a climate that encourages: "(1) asking good questions; (2) being honest about both strengths and challenges; and (3) developing innovative problem-solving strategies and initiatives that address particular issues." Indeed, to address societal imperatives, higher education must begin by transforming its own culture. The process of cultural change begins with a focus on inclusiveness, bringing all campus members into the discussions about problems and strategies and showing them the evidence that forms the basis of the approach. Shared governance and broad consultations harness the ingenuity and creativity of faculty, students, and staff. IT professionals play an important role through their understanding of technology and how to effectively innovate using technology. Learning analytics and assessment, supported by information technology, can thus change institutional culture and drive the transformation in student retention, graduation, and success. (Contains 9 notes.)
Hrabowski, F.A., Suess, J. & Fritz, J. (2011). Assessment and Analytics in Institutional Transformation. EDUCAUSE Review, 46(5), 14-16.
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