Click here to go to TracDat. Use your webID as your username and the password originally assigned by IR&A staff. You may change this password using the home tab and profile sub-tab in TracDat. Call 7387 if you would like us to reset your password.
Click on the "Reports" tab in TracDat. Use the "Assessment Plan" report to see the Outcomes, Means of Assessment and Criteria for Excellence. See View Existing Plans for options to select. Use the "Unit Assessment Report - Four Column" report to see the plan, results, and uses of results. See View Existing Reports for options to select.
Please do NOT delete or modify previous information stored in TracDat. This database is used to demonstrate each unit's current and history of assessment. Instead simply add a new outcome, means of assessment or result. For older outcomes, edit the status to "not currently assessing" or "no longer an outcome". For previous means of assessment, mark as inactive (i.e., uncheck box next to "active"). Leave older results in the database.
Click the orange "Add Result" button on the "results" tab. Then select the outcome and the means of assessment for which you'd like to add data. Provide a summary of the data in the box provided, mark whether the criterion was met, and the status of the use of results.
Click the here to find the complete list of each program and unit's cycle.
February 15 - every other year. The University Assessment Committee begins reviewing assessment plans after February 15th each spring. In even years, cycle B plans are critiqued. In odd calendar years, cycle A plans are reviewed.
October 15 - every other year. The University Assessment Committee begins reviewing assessment plans after October 15th each fall. In even years, cycle A reports are critiqued. In odd calendar years, cycle B reports are reviewed.
You may collect data throughout the assessment cycle. You must collect data for each of the active means of assessment at least once during the 2-year period.
We recommend that the faculty or staff review the results near the end of each academic or fiscal year. This gives the unit time to implement the improvement prior to submitting the report every other October. You must have improvement plans for each means of assessment for which the criterion for excellence was not met. Additionally, across all of the current means of assessment there must be at least one 'use of results'.
The primary purpose of assessment is to systematically improve the quality of student learning, teaching, research, service, and processes at UM. We use our assessment process to demonstrate to our regional accrediting body, SACS, that we are in compliance with a core requirement and several comprehensive standards required for accreditation. To ensure our compliance, every degree program and every unit on campus must provide evidence of improvement based on assessment results.
We recommend assessing 3 to 5 outcomes at any given time. For academic programs, an outcome is a general statement of what you expect students to know, think, or be able to do when they complete the program (e.g., Graduates demonstrate professional presentation skills.). For non-academic programs, outcomes can range from a general statement of a current service (e.g., The assessment portion of the IR&A web-site meets the needs of the UM Community.) to statements of what you expect clients to know, think or be able to do as a result of the service (e.g., Participants demonstrate good assessment planning.).
The means of assessment is the way that the faculty and staff know they are achieving a particular outcome. We recommend that each outcome have at least two means of assessment, at least one of which should directly measure the outcome. By that, we mean, instead of asking a student or client how well they learned something, ask questions that test their knowledge.
A course grade is made up a variety of components, including student performance. Some of the components of a grade may have very little to do with a specific outcome (e.g., attendance rarely relates directly to an outcome). Additionally, most courses help students develop several of the program outcomes. This variety of components makes course grades a poor choice for a means of assessment. However, please note, courses offer many opportunities to collect student artifacts and to embed questions for assessment purposes. These means of assessment often provide faculty with excellent information on which to base improvements.
As all graduates must pass these required componets of the degree program, such assessments do not provide data that will likely point faculty to potential improvements. Faculty can however use item or component analyses to include comprehensive exams, thesis, and dissertations in the assessment plan. Faculty may develop a rubric with multiple levels of performance (e.g., pass with distinction, acceptable/pass, or unacceptable/fail) and multiple components (e.g., writing style, knowledge). The faculty would then examine the percent of students who pass with distinction for each component related to the outcome. For comprehensive exam questions that are graded as correct or incorrect, faculty may examine the percent of students correctly answering a particular question related to an outcome.
These types of data are great to have for other purposes. But they are not appropriate for program assessment as there are many influences outside of program that inpact such measures. For example, journal review time or impact factor may impact publication and the general economy can have a large influence on whether graduates obtain employment.