Enabling a Culture of Continuous Improvement
Learn how William Woods University prepared for HLC accreditation by centralizing the assessment, reporting, and analysis of student learning with a comprehensive Tk20 CampusWide solution.
A Case Study by Sherry McCarthy, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor, Education, William Woods University
HOW TO MANAGE DATA FOR GROWTH?
William Woods University (WWU) has more than 75 sites across Missouri, offering Master of Education degree programs and educational specialist programs to more than 1,500 educators at any one time. Assessment of student learning has always been a focus of the university and its academic programs. In the beginning, the university used a paper-based data collection and management process and then transitioned to using floppy disks. The institution needed a way to manage the growth of this student learning data for reporting and accreditation, specifically the ability to show the alignment of student learning data to state and/or national standards in a way that documented that students had mastered the skills and knowledge necessary for certification and program completion.
TRANSITIONING TO AN ONLINE SYSTEM
WWU reviewed five electronic assessment systems before choosing the Tk20 system in the summer of 2007, mainly for the education certification programs. Faculty and administrators felt it met all the needs of students, faculty, the university, and accreditation bodies. Importantly, it provided the institution with the structure to be able to manage all student learning data and to align it to state and/or national standards via assignments and electronic portfolios that documented that students had mastered the skills and knowledge necessary for certification and program completion. Soon after adopting the system, the university set up sessions for more than 200 full-time and adjunct faculty statewide to introduce the system and be able to help students upload artifacts to document their learning for each standard. Over the years, the Tk20 CampusWide system has been adapted across the campus through general education and many other programs.
A CULTURE OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
The ability of WWU to collect and manage the growth in student learning data in a systematic manner, aligned to statewide and national standards, and across a two-state multi-location campus for numerous programs, has contributed to a strong culture of continuous improvement since 2007. After using the Tk20 CampusWide assessment system to first document student learning and then use the reports to analyze student learning, William Woods University faculty shared their success stories, making presentations at a Higher Learning Commission conference and a Missouri Colleges of Teacher Education conference.