This week, Ms. Steele Payne from Clemson’s Office for Institutional Assessment came and spoke to us about Clemson’s assessment process, university accreditation, surveys and how to effectively utilize data from assessments. I will admit, when I saw this workshop on the calendar, read about her and her office and even in the beginning of her presentation, I was a little confused as to how this pertained to us. Actually, I did not understand exactly until the end of her presentation, as she spent the majority of the time explaining Clemson assessment and accreditation. Although this was interesting, I was wondering the whole time what the takeaway was. Looking back, I do not think I would have known about any of these concepts without this, so it is pretty cool to understand some of the larger workings of the university. I have already found myself questioning how my own professors are assessing our learning and on what criteria, as well as looking for Clemson’s efforts towards their critical thinking goals around campus, in the classroom and in their emails. Overall, this workshop went from a topic that I found interesting but irrelevant to one of the topics from this class that has stuck with me the most and I have found myself thinking about. I even got some important information and tips to be used on our class project and in future projects:
• Research has shown there has been no increase in participation for surveys if the prize is over $25, so it is smarter to offer more, smaller value incentives.
• People are more likely to open and email or survey if it comes from a person, not an organization, office or company.
• If possible, address people by name when sending an email to make it more personal, and they will be more likely to do whatever action you are asking.
• Do not lie about survey specifics, such as the amount of time it takes or questions on it.
• Surveys should not take over 10 minutes to take, and it is important to measure the actual time it takes to complete to let people know.
• Only questions on situations that you have the ability to change should be asked.
• Clearly define the objectives for survey and what you're trying to accomplish through it.
o During the survey process, start by assessing what you already have and what you need, and then create objectives for the survey to ensure you are getting what you need. Each survey needs 3-4 objectives as well as ways to measure if they’re being achieved.
Also this week was the Honors 2203 2017 Olympics. All that was said prior to this was to come to class excited, so I really did not know what to expect. After completing these games, I will say that I found this extremely challenging. I am a Communications major and do not mind speaking in front of people or presentations, however, I am not a theater major and impromptu acting is really not my thing. I appreciate when activities and classes push me out of my comfort zone, as that has always been important to me, and that is how you grow. However, I wish there had been some more aspects of these “Olympics” than just reading monologues in specific tones so that everyone has more of a chance to show off their skillset. I do understand the point of the exercise, and the need to practice verbal delivery, but the practicality of the exercise in terms of how realistic the games as a whole were was lost on me at times. Looking back, I loved the teamwork and verbal delivery aspect of the activity, but I wish it had been more realistic and encompassed different communication skills to be more engaging and fun for everyone. This was definitely a challenging day for me.
One last thing to note about this week is that I was scrolling through Facebook and saw the graphic I had created and the caption I wrote to recruit new faculty member to the program on the Faculty Friends Facebook page! It was pretty cool to see our work being used and was great motivation to continue in our work as we wrap up and prepare for the progress report next week and the final presentation and festival day coming up.