Office of Outcomes Assessment

Follow them anywhere

Toss out the red pen, folks. The Office of Outcomes Assessment (OOA) is going digital. 

In an effort to help instructors at Johnson County Community College, the OOA is turning to blog posts and Twitter to spread the message of better assessment. 

The point, according to Sheri Barrett, director of outcomes assessment, is to help instructors have the resources they need to determine student learning in their courses and programs. 

More simply stated, the OOA is making sure that professors have the tools to make sure students “get it” and know exactly who is “getting it” and who isn’t. 

The OOA blog is a resource for all JCCC instructors, offering an overview of what a successful JCCC student should learn during his or her time at the college. (In OOA language, that’s called student learning outcomes.) 

The blog also offers book reviews on assessment literature and updates from the assessment council, which advises the OOA and helps plan events. 

Short videos about assessment also populate the site. Barrett created some of the videos using PowerPoint slides from longer presentations and segmenting them into bite-sized nuggets of information. 

“We discussed opportunities to take what we do in our Brown Bag Brownie Breaks, and assessment sessions and collapsing it, condensing it and putting it on a blog. And that’s what we’re doing,” Barrett said. 

The OOA will still offer face-to-face meetings about assessment, as well a printed newsletter about assessment, but the blog will be a resource that teachers can access on their own schedule. 

“We’ve had (campus) presentations…but it’s always been a challenge because the faculty have very divergent schedules and teach at different times in different buildings,” Barrett said. 

The blog also allows faculty to revisit an issue from a face-to-face presentation, in the same way that students in certain “hybrid” classes can benefit from both in-person learning and the chance to repeat difficult concepts by watching online. 

The OOA’s Twitter (@jcccooa) account was born when Barrett saw faculty and staff tweeting about the all-staff meeting while still in the meeting. 

“I looked around and thought, ‘We could do that.’” 

The account is just a little fledging in the Twitter nest, but Barrett is soliciting followers so the account can fly one day. 

“We’re trying to give our faculty every opportunity to get the information they need,” Barrett said. “Assessment is just everywhere.”