Message sent to all Fall 2020 Instructional Staff on September 16, 2020.

Dear Faculty and Instructional Staff,

We have made it past Day 10, the date on the academic calendar when we officially record the size of our incoming student cohorts as well as our course enrollments. By now you have taught for more than three weeks, and probably have a sense of what is going well and what might need some changes in your classes.

Within the next few days, we will be asking undergraduate and graduate students to complete a short formative assessment of their courses. Students in all courses (except for private music lessons, independent study, thesis and dissertation courses) with a minimum enrollment of five students will be asked to complete a short poll. The purpose of asking students to complete this assessment is help faculty get feedback they can use to make mid-course corrections, if needed. We know that many of you already conduct formative assessments – a class check-in, so to speak – around this time. This assessment is in that spirit. Early to mid-course feedback is always good practice, and this kind of feedback is critical when so much of our curriculum is remote or otherwise altered by COVID-19 changes.

This information is for you as the instructor, and since department chairs are responsible for oversight of courses, it will also be shared with your department chair. We want to stress that we know that we are taking an early snapshot, and this is for course development, not course evaluation. You can see the assessment tool here.

We will notify when we have sent the survey invitation to students. We encourage you to ask your students to complete the assessment for all their courses.

The Office of Institutional Research and Strategic Analytics, which will be conducting the assessment, will not share course-level information with the provost’s office, but share information that has been aggregated across courses. None of the information gathered will be used in performance reviews or in promotion, tenure, or reappointment cases. OIRSA will be using the same tool – EvaluationKit – to conduct this assessment as is used for end-of-term course evaluations, but the results will be kept separate and will not be added to Lyterati or mingled in any way with course evaluation data.

We ask that you encourage your students to complete these short assessments. We saw last spring that students were impressed with their instructors’ teaching efforts – and outcomes – during a very difficult semester. We expect that these assessments will also showcase your efforts, as well as provide information that will help you as you progress through the term.

Thank you for your support of this effort.

Jennifer Jensen

Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs

Jackie Krasas

Deputy Provost for Faculty Affairs