UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY HOLD S CONFERENCE PROMOTING EDUCATION IMPROVM ENT THROUGH ASSESSMENT
by Alex Gee
Orem, UT—Utah Valley University’s Office of Academic Affairs and University College hosted the fourth annual Best Practices Assessment Conference (BPAC) on October 17, 2012 in the Science Building atrium. BPAC was orginally started by UVU's Associate Vice President over Academic Program four years ago.
The conference is held annually and helps the university measure the quality of student learning and curriculum effectiveness.
The theme of the conference was simplifying assessment. Faculty and staff met to discuss ways for improving assessment method on campus. This year’s conference was the largest held yet, featuring keynote speaker Annemieke Rice (Director of Campuss Success), workshops, and poster’s highlighting the successful assessment measuring methods of the different university schools.
“Utah Valley University is the leader in the field of academic assessment,” said Michelle Baron, Academic Assessment Specialist. “We structure our curriculum around providing our students with the skills they will need in the work field. Our assessment tools are data driven and meeting at this conference helps us to determine what methods are working and what needs improvement.”
Groups that participated in this year’s conference included the School of Aviation Science, the Center for Advancement in Leadership, the Woodbury of School of Business’ MBA department, University College, Department of Computer Science, Academic Affairs, Institutional Research Institute, the Compliance Office, as well as participants throughout every department within UVU. The schools presented posters of how they assess the effectiveness of their curriculum through bench marking, exit surveys, student SRI’s, focus groups, secondary data, and rubrics.
The Best Practices Assessment Conference has been growing every year since it was first introduced and plans for coming years include inviting other universities to participate. The Assessment Conference also had a pre-meeting (Utah's first annual Assessment Collaboration meeting) in which eleven schools from Utah attended to discuss developing issues and solutions within the assessment arena.