ELI Seeking Evidence of Impact Project

Gary R. Brown, Director, Office of Assessment and Innovation, Washington State University

Malcolm B. Brown, Director of ELI, EDUCAUSE

Joanne Dehoney, Director of Strategic Programs, East Carolina University

Veronica Diaz, Associate Director, ELI, EDUCAUSE

Charles D. Dziuban,  Director, Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness, University of Central Florida

John Fritz, Assistant VP, Instructional Technology & New Media. University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Phillip D. Long, Professor, Director Centre Educational Innovation and Technology. The University of Queensland

Vernon C. Smith, Vice President, Academic Affairs, Rio Salado College

ELI initiative around measuring impact of ed technologies on education. In this time of reduced funding it is even more important that we understand effectiveness of technology in supporting student learning outcomes.

Online discussion forum 13th-14th April 2011.

Some key ideas for measuring impact:

Be opportunistic, make decisions, bring good and bad news, use the data effectively and put it in context, share inspiring vision and celebrate accomplishments. Senior administrators have no idea what you are talking about – make it relevant to their world.

Tell stories and show different critiques. Make sure you tie data collection into institutional strategies. Know your audience – find out what is important for senior staff, eg UG experience etc, and relate your work to them.  We should include non classroom components too in assessment of impact, ie library, IT infrastructure etc.

Understand your institution’s leadership values so that evidence is situated within your particular culture.  Evidence may not be appropriate to transfer between institutions due to cultural differences.  Outcomes are important but also ensure credibility by demonstrating academic rigour and scholarship process when you are collecting the data.  Process is as important as the outcome.

Can a culture of assessment co-exist with a culture of innovation? Evidence needed to ascertain this.

Moving into a culture where more evidence is required. Areas that data will required – access, retention and completion. What are you going to do to show you meeting those needs?  Connect to IT strategic processes.  If you know why you are collecting evidence and are sure of this then you are creating a shared purpose and compelling reason to engage.

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