September 19, 2012
According to the most recent academic Department Survey, more than eight out of 10 sociology departments carry out departmental assessments that are often demanded by college or university administrators. Faculty members have mixed feelings about doing such assessments, especially when they are ordered from the top down.
The ASA Research Department on the Discipline and the Profession has just added a new PowerPoint presentation—Program Assessment with Benchmarks: Using Data from the ASA—to our collection of free downloads. The presentation describes how ASA resources—especially data collected from our Bachelor’s and Beyond Survey, can be used to “solve” common assessment problems. These problems include the following:
- Lack of faculty time to work on assessment
- Lack of departmental consensus about what should be assessed
- Lack of student commitment to engage seriously in assessment activities
- Lack of comparative data
- Concern about reliance on “self reports”
The presentation provides examples of how these survey data can be used and how they can be enhanced through combining them with questions that test students’ conceptual and methodological knowledge.
An example of data on assessment activities.
Source: Spalter-Roth and Scelza, 2009. What’s Happening in Your Department with Assessment? Washington, DC: American Sociological Association.
We’d like to hear from you about the issues that you are having with doing assessments. Also, are you adapting or have adapted the Bachelor’s and Beyond survey or other ASA data for your department’s assessment needs? If so, how? Was this effort successful?
January 5, 2012
The Research Department has begun a new longitudinal study of senior sociology majors from the class of 2012. To conduct this study, the ASA has asked participating departments for the names and email addresses of students that will be invited to take the survey in the Spring. Department chairs and undergraduate program directors tend to face obstacles in providing this information, including sometimes strict Institutional Review Board requirements. We invite faculty to use this space as a forum for questions and to share experiences that might help other departments facing the same obstacles.
For those of you unfamiliar with the study, visit our website to learn more, download the Phase I questionnaire, and view a list of participating departments.
February 25, 2010
Our colleague, Mary Senter of the University of Central Michigan, has been working with us in our longitudinal study of sociology baccalaureates from the class of 2005. As part of a workshop on the findings from the this survey presented at the Eastern Sociological Society’s 2009 annual meeting, Dr. Senter discusses the curricular, departmental and pedagogic implications of the findings. You can also find Research Director Roberta Spalter-Roth’s presentation from this workshop previously posted in this blog.
Click here to learn more about the study and view the research briefs.
Feel free to post your comments and questions by clicking Add Comment at the end of this post. Please do not include your name if you wish to remain anonymous when commenting.
February 24, 2010
Below is a recording of a workshop held at the Eastern Sociological Society’s annual meeting in Baltimore in 2009. Research director, Roberta Spalter-Roth, discusses findings from a longitudinal study that was designed to track sociology baccalaureates from the Class of 2005. This presentation highlights findings reported in previous research briefs from this study, which you can find on our Bachelors and Beyond webpage. At a later date, we will be posting the workshop presentation of Mary Senter, of the University of Central Michigan, who has worked with us in this study.
Feel free to leave comments and ask questions by clicking “Add Comment” at the end of this post. Do not include your name if you wish to remain anonymous.