Academic programs at Webster University participate in a university-wide assessment process focused on generating actionable changes to improve student learning. Guided by feedback and leadership from the University Assessment Committee and support from Faculty Development Center (FDC) staff, this assessment process forms part of Webster’s continuous improvement efforts. The FDC offers guidance in preparing program-level assessment plans and reports, consultations for programs on data collection and analysis, support for integrating assessment efforts into Canvas, and recommendations on streamlining assessment processes and making them more meaningful to faculty. Our support is rooted in faculty development principles of peer learning, fostering a growth mindset and empowering faculty as lifelong learners along with their students.
Assessment as a Transparent Teaching Practice
Assessment at Webster extends our faculty’s commitment to transparent teaching practices by documenting and making plain our efforts toward enhancing teaching and learning. Under our current assessment plan (requires login), programs at Webster are asked to create detailed standing assessment plans with curriculum maps, an annual plan for assessment and an annual assessment report. The process prioritizes planning, clear communication of assessment processes within programs and using assessment data to make informed decisions about teaching and curricula.
Inquiry-Based Approaches to Teaching and Learning
Through learning communities, workshops and faculty fellowships, the FDC partners with faculty to support reflective teaching practices and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. We understand assessment of student learning outcomes as an extension of regular faculty inquiry—whether through formal research or through reflection on teaching—and we encourage faculty to connect these reflective efforts at every level: the individual instructor, the course level, the program level, and the school/college level.