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Including Assessment in Job Descriptions

The Division of Student Affairs strives to include assessment in all relevant employees’ day-to-day work. As part of this commitment, the Learning Goals Committee is excited to share our goal for embedding assessment language into all relevant administrative, classified, and student job descriptions. The target date for completing this work is August 2024.  

How to Get Started 

We encourage department leaders to involve employees in the planning and implementation of these job description changes. Here are tips for updating job description language and supporting assessment activities in your work area: 

  • Employees should spend time thinking about ideas for how to include assessment into their job descriptions. 
  • Communicate with employees about the purpose for the change, when it will occur, and what it will mean for them. 
  • Identify what, if anything, will change about the employee’s job duties. Ask the employee for input about the change to their job description. The committee anticipates that most staff already do some work that relates to assessment without that being reflected in the job description. 
  • Discuss whether a goal should be set for the 2023 performance management cycle related to assessment, evaluation and/or research components intersecting with job duties. 
  • Discuss how assessment relates to employee professional development plans with all staff. Take time in a staff meeting or supervision to discuss progress toward assessment professional development goals. Department leaders should share what work has been accomplished toward their own professional development assessment goals, as well. 

Examples of Customized Job Descriptions 

Generic Language  

In the Division of Student Affairs, we value an understanding of our work and sharing the work that we do with our campus community and our external stakeholders. Each member of the Division shall be committed to promoting and understanding the need for assessment methods in the work we do. The Division of Student Affairs is committed to the (1) understanding of assessment concepts/terms, (2) development of assessment methods, (3) execution of developed assessment methods, (4) reporting results, and (5) using collected data to inform action-planning and decision-making for the Division. 

 

Example Language 

Ensure the unit complies with professional ethical standards concerning assessment activities. Lead the conceptualization and design of ongoing, systematic, high-quality, data based strategies at the unit-level to evaluate and assess learning, programs, and services. Design and integrate ongoing and periodic data collection efforts such that they are sustainable, rigorous, and as unobtrusive as possible, and technically current. Lead the design and writing of varied and diverse communications of findings, and other research activities that include translation of data analyses into goals and actions. Write and disseminate results in a manner that critically considers the strengths and limitations of implications for practice, policy, and/or future work. Integrate the strategic use and prioritization of budgetary and personal resources to support high-quality program evaluation, assessment efforts, research, and planning. Facilitate the prioritization of decisions and resources to implement those decisions that are informed by assessment, evaluation, and research activities.  

 

Excerpts 

  • For individuals who are responsible for collecting data: Handle data with appropriate confidentiality and deference to organizational processes and policies. Obtain IRB approval when necessary. When creating data collection instruments, design the tools in alignment with student learning and/or development theories and scholarly research. Scan for existing data to incorporate, use or build from. Discern appropriate design(s) based on critical questions, available data, and intended audience(s). 
  • For individuals who are responsible for analyzing and reporting data: Consider the limitations and strengths of methodological approaches when applying findings to practice. After data collection, create reports and share out findings with appropriate stakeholders. Communicate and display data in a manner that is accurate, transparent about the strengths, limitations, and context of the data; and sensitive to political conditions and realities associated with data.  
  • Example Provide leadership in integrating quality improvement and assessment throughout University Well-being & Recreation.  Support and lead efforts to create a culture in which data and information are both valued and utilized for reporting and decision-making. Analyze process flows to identify barriers and inefficiencies and to ensure a high-quality customer experience. Analyzes and evaluates the interactions of University Well-being & Recreation with its audiences and advocates for improvements.  Routinely collaborates with department staff to assess quality, understand users and needs and improve the customer experience.    Articulate the logic and impact of decisions on groups of people, institutional structures and implications for practice. Compile information from marketing tactics, registration/user data and information, to develop assessment, outcomes, and effectiveness of marketing strategies.  Share data used to inform key decision makers in transparent and accessible tactics for program engagement while using appropriate technology. Use data to explain values and processes that lead to organizational improvement. 

Information About Job Postings 

In addition to customized details about how assessment relates to specific job duties, we ask all hiring managers to add the following support statement of assessment at the end of the People Admin Job Posting and in job advertisements for all relevant positions, including student employees: 

In the Division of Student Affairs, we value an understanding of our work and sharing the work that we do with our campus community and our external stakeholders. Each member of the Division shall be committed to promoting and understanding the need for assessment methods in the work we do. The Division of Student Affairs is committed to the (1) understanding of assessment concepts/terms, (2) development of assessment methods, (3) execution of developed assessment methods, (4) reporting results, and (5) using collected data to inform action-planning and decision-making for the Division. 

Thank you for working to create a more assessment-focused community at OHIO. This is important and requires time and support from our entire staff to implement. You are invited to attend any Learning Goals Committee meeting to discuss or share feedback. Contact the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs (studentaffairs@ohio.edu) to determine the time and location of the next meeting.