Meet self-study’s Chapter 4 author Theresa Castor
"I view this chapter as a work in progress."
Our Communication Department colleague Dr. Theresa Castor has finished a draft of Chapter 4, titled Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement, of the university's self-study for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). While she views the chapter as not yet being complete, Dr. Castor said the information she has collected shows UW-Parkside is placing an increasingly greater value on assessment.
"As an institution, we've gone through a lot of evolutionary phases with our assessment," she said. "We still have work to do but we've made great progress. I feel that as an institution, we've grown in our assessment, in our valuing of assessment, and how we look at it."
Criterion Four, the basis for this chapter, calls for the university to demonstrate "responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement."
Finding examples of the effectiveness of university educational programs, learning environments, and support services is the most difficult task Castor and the Chapter 4 team have faced.
"We need their stories," Castor said. "One of the things I've learned is that there's a lot going on on-campus with assessment but that's hard to find in official documents; it's part of the experience, the history, the memories of people."
For that reason, feedback is vital to completing Chapter 4.
"The best way to get that information is to have people read through the document and identify areas where they've been involved with an initiative or project that relates to the criterion in the chapter. If they see that their story is missing, they need to let me know so we can include their example," Castor stated.Draft version one of UW-Parkside's self-study is now on the university's web site. Edits and suggestions can be made easily on Commentpress.