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In response to recommendations concerning weaknesses in its assessment/institutional effectiveness program received from the SACSCOC Off-Site and On-Site Reaffirmation Committees during the College’s reaffirmation in 2012, Dalton State adopted and fully implemented a new assessment plan using WEAVEonline Assessment Management System, a web-based assessment system during the 2012-2013 academic year. This has provided the evidence and documentation that the institution has undertaken a consistent process of assessment that includes the identification of authentic outcomes, assessment that produces meaningful data, and an analysis of that data leading to documented improvements in its educational programs. Indeed, WEAVEOnline provides a more robust method of managing the campus-wide assessment process and provides the structure for tracking, linking, and documenting the ongoing and campus-wide assessment of educational programs, including student learning outcomes.
Among the many reports available in WEAVEOnline, the main report used at the College to document the assessment of educational programs and student learning outcomes is the Detailed Assessment Report (DAR). WEAVEOnline affords the opportunity to also produce other reports from the detailed DAR to “close the assessment loop,” that is, provide sufficient evidence of improvement. Helping to document institutional effectiveness are the Action Plan Improvements Tracking Report, the Achievement Status Chart, and Analysis Questions/Answers Significant Improvements Summary. The DAR and associated reports help identify educational outcomes, assess the extent to which these outcomes are achieved, and provide evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results concerning educational programs and student learning outcomes.
The use of WEAVEonline also helps Dalton State to improve the management of planning and assessment processes by keeping all plans together in a web-based system that is searchable and retrievable and by facilitating the development and tracking of actions taken in response to unmet objectives/outcomes. With respect to academic assessment, faculty members using the WEAVEonline Assessment Management System are able to develop/identify outcomes, including program/student learning outcomes for each academic program/course, assess these outcomes, and report on results. The system encourages annual review of program mission, goals, objectives, measures and targets concerning program and student learning outcomes – making for a more rigorous and effective review of educational programs and of student learning. Furthermore, it requires that action plans to address unmet performance targets be developed and tracked. In addition, the assessment management system provides for a standardized and consistent format for reporting assessment activities across the campus.
Dalton State’s acquisition of the WEAVEonline Assessment Management System demonstrates the College’s commitment to improve the quality of its academic and administrative assessment programs to show compliance with SACS-COC comprehensive standard 3.3.1 (Institutional Effectiveness): The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results of the following areas:
22.214.171.124 – educational programs, to include student learning outcomes
126.96.36.199 – administrative support services
188.8.131.52 – academic and student support services
184.108.40.206 – community/public service within its mission, if appropriate