Building an Assessment Collaboratory

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As General Education administrators, we appreciate the vital role that assessment plays in the continual process of evaluating and improving teaching and learning. We recognize the importance of supporting faculty in the assessment process, as many instructors – especially those new to gen ed or new to teaching – feel unsure about how to create well-aligned assessments and how to use them as a tool for refining instruction. The creation of an assessment Collaboratory, an online repository of actual assignments and assessments that have been successfully used in gen ed classrooms, provides a solution to this challenge.

We will walk through our process for establishing such a resource, including our strategies for engaging faculty and other stakeholders, identifying the best technological platform for our needs, acquiring good assignment and assessment examples, and publicizing the resource to our gen ed instructors. Additionally, we will discuss the value of the Collaboratory beyond just assessment, as a vehicle for building a community of practice and promoting inclusive and active-learning pedagogy.

Learning goals:

  1. Explain the purpose and function of an assignment/assessment Collaboratory.
  2. Identify challenges and potential solutions for creating such a resource at your institution.
  3. Discuss the value of such a resource for improving assessment quality, building a community of practice, and promoting inclusive and active-learning pedagogy.
  4. Discuss strategies for fostering stakeholder buy-in and collaboration throughout the creation process.

Participants will be encouraged to engage throughout the session. Example questions include: If you were to create a Collaboratory at your institution, what potential challenges would you face? Do you see potential for a similar resource at your institution? If so, what elements would you adopt, and what would you change? Is there anything missing from ours that would be critical to have in yours?



Collaboration, general education, assessment, Pathways to General Education at Virginia Tech, collaboratory, faculty peer to peer