AESS Assessment Process
AESS units engage in an annual process to identify and examine ways to improve the overall student experience by assessing support outcomes and/or student learning outcomes. The AESS assessment process at York is internally driven and designed to:
- be meaningful and manageable;
- lead to data-driven decision-making;
- maximize the effective use of institutional resources;
- ensure continuous improvement; and
- be relevant to the unit.
As Figure 1 shows, assessment is cyclical and activities reoccur to ensure data is used for continuous and sustained improvement of measurable outcomes. It also illustrates that in connection with the unit mission and goals, there are six critical activities units will undertake in the assessment process:
- Identify outcomes for each goal
- Identify measures for each outcome
- Collect and organize data
- Analyze and interpret data, and identify recommend actions
- Develop and execute action plan
- Use results to make improvements (“closing the loop")
These specific activities unify assessment practice across AESS units and establishes standards for engaging in continuous improvement.
Figure 1: Assessment Cycle
How it Works
The AESS unit assessment cycle is governed by an annual timeline that requires units to engage in specific assessment activities throughout every year. Units use available templates and other resources to help them complete assessment activities.
- The 5-Year Annual Assessment Plan template helps units draft short-term and long-term plans based on their mission, goals and identified outcomes.
- Each year, units are required to use data to assess at least one goal and two measurable outcomes connected to that goal.
- Due to additional program requirements, some units (e.g., SEEK, Male Initiative Program) are required to assess all goals every year.
- The Annual Assessment Findings Report, due by the first Thursday in September, requires units to communicate information about assessment activities completed for the previous year.
- Units describe in detail outcomes assessed, measures used to collect data, target of success, and how data was analyzed and interpreted. They also explain how actionable data was used to create action plans and make improvements. If applicable, units also share results mapped to student ILO(s).
- The report provides units with the opportunity to discuss factors that may have impeded or accelerated assessment efforts, celebrate assessment accomplishments and concisely communicate outcomes for the following next year.
The AESSAC uses information in plans and reports to document and provide feedback to AESS units. After assessment plans have been vetted and finalized by the AESSAC, units implement their plans. Feedback provided helps to make sure assessment activities are executable and actionable data from the previous year’s Annual Assessment Findings Report is used to inform decision making.