Greater Degrees of Learning: Reflection on the Assessment Institute 2015
By: Ayeesha Hankins
I imagine that I am not alone in saying that I had some initial hesitation in attending the 2015 Assessment Institute in Louisville. Institutes such as this can often conjure up anxiety for student affairs professionals, particularly those new to the area of assessment. As for me, my reservations stemmed from prior attendance to two ACPA assessment institutes and my previous work experience as the Coordinator of Student Affairs Research and Assessment at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Honestly, I was concerned about whether or not the Institute would provide me with additional information than it had in earlier years or by way of my professional experience. Currently, as a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina Greensboro with an assistantship that involves leadership to the Assessment Council and oversight of the development of a culture of evidence within the Division of Student Affairs, I was eager to gain new insights to bring back to my campus.
Thankfully, my experience in Louisville dismissed my hesitation. The content was applicable to a broad range of assessment abilities and competency levels. Furthermore, I found the repetition of assessment fundamentals to be helpful in furthering my understanding of various assessment tools and methodologies. Continuing to attend the ACPA Assessment Institutes and deliberately applying what I have learned therein has proved to be of great benefit. As I think back to each individual institute, I have seen my knowledge level advance (i.e. moving from understanding to evaluating via Bloom’s Taxonomy) over time. That said, my experience in Louisville was the richest so far! I had more intentional conversations with colleagues doing similar work and greatly benefited from the candid sharing during the faculty roundtable discussion. I learned a lot simply by asking questions. This was definitely the session that I enjoyed most. I look forward to attending the next 2016 ACPA Assessment Institute in Charlotte, NC. I trust that it will be another great learning experience!
Ayeesha Hankins is a second year doctoral student in Higher Education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Her graduate research assistantship is in the Office of Student Affairs overseeing the Assessment Council as well as assessment and research throughout the division. Ayeesha was a 2015 scholarship recipient and participant of the ACPA Student Affairs Assessment Institute.