Dear Deans and Chairs,

To support academic units’ efforts in evaluating program impact and effectiveness, the Center for Teaching and Learning is announcing a Graduate Student Assessment Fellows Program (spring 2018) for graduate students to assist faculty in creating tools and gathering data to inform program/curriculum improvement and decisions. Programs to be supported can be degree programs, minors, or certificate programs, or advising programs that impact undergraduate and graduate student learning and experiences at Berkeley. We recognize that assessment efforts take time and resources, and this program is tailored to fulfill those needs.

The goals of this program are three-fold: (a) provide assessment training opportunities for a cadre of graduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in higher education; (b) contribute to assessment culture and capacity building in the national landscape of higher education where trained graduate students acquire positions; and (c) provide funding in the form of a stipend ($2500) for graduate students to support program-level assessment efforts on campus. As part of this program, Graduate Student Fellows will be attending a half-day assessment training session in fall 2017, meet 8 times as a cohort during spring 2018, and engage in a program-level assessment project during spring 2018.

We are soliciting manageable program-level assessment projects, which students can engage in during the spring semester. The scope of the assessment support will be negotiated with the Graduate Student Fellow who will be assigned to your project and with the Center for Teaching and Learning staff. Students are expected to spend approximately 5 hours per week for the assessment project. 

Sample Assessment Support & Projects

Recently, for example, as part of the academic program review process, the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) surveyed student opinion on the effectiveness of its undergraduate curriculum. The survey findings verified the strengths of the program (e.g., strong faculty and advising mentorship) and also opened up a dialogue on ways to make curricular and performance opportunities more accessible and inclusive of the diverse student population they serve. The student survey was made possible by the department chair and staff who were deeply engaged in the project, and was heavily supported by a TDPS PhD student who was trained by the CTL staff.

The scope of the assessment support will be negotiated with the Graduate Student Fellow who will be assigned to your project. Sample assessment project support may include one or more of the following types of assistance:  

  • Clarify/revise program-level student learning goals by gathering input from faculty, students, and other key stakeholders.
  • Examine what are the common foundational knowledge and skills needed across curricular tracks to inform the revisions of the required core courses. 
  • Understand how research skills are threaded across curriculum by analyzing syllabi and interviewing faculty and discuss what needs to be improved.
  • Understand the impact of a recent curricular change (e.g., a new requirement, a new pedagogical innovation made across courses) on student learning. Understand what was effective and what needs further adjustment.  

Requirement

    The proposal requires that a designated senate faculty who is the assessment project lead become a mentor to oversee the assessment effort for the duration of the project period (preferably someone who is already involved in oversight of undergraduate or graduate curriculum). The Fellows will also be mentored by the Center for Teaching and Learning assessment consultant, Yukiko Watanabe.  

    Assessment Support Proposal (Due: September 25th)  

    Please fill out the assessment support request proposal online by Monday, September 25nd, 2017: 

    Proposal: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GSAF2018SupportRequest

    Selection Timeline: The selection committee will review your proposal and notify you whether your project was selected for the 2018 spring GSAF program by October 2nd. If you are selected, we will provide you with a few matching graduate student applications at the end of October. You will be choosing the candidate to support your project by November 10th. 

    A senior consultant at CTL, Yukiko Watanabe (yukikow@berkeley.edu), is available to consult with you to discuss your project’s scope and the assistance in-training students will be able to provide. If you have a graduate student who is a good fit for supporting your project, please encourage the student to apply for the Graduate Student Assessment Fellows Program (link: http://teaching.berkeley.edu/graduate-student-assessment-fellowship).