Webinar Recap: You Can’t Fix What You Can’t Measure

Marlon Mote of Tarrant Community College District recently spoke about the challenges of consistent assessment of foundational skills like critical thinking, and how he’s overcome those barriers at his institution. He used NimblyWise to increase student participation and bolster the consistency and accuracy of TCCD’s assessments, while also saving valuable staff time and resources.

Foundational skills like information literacy, critical thinking, and communication are notoriously difficult to assess. Mote indicated that one of the first challenges they encountered was that a very small number of students volunteered to participate in assessments, which led to a small sample size and unreliable results.

Quantitative Reasoning was identified as the learning outcome TCCD wanted to focus on. They worked with NimblyWise to create a common assessment strategy, moving away from their old paper assessments to digital, using the NimblyWise platform through the school’s Learning Management System (LMS). Participation jumped from dozens to hundreds, giving much deeper insights into student strengths and weaknesses, which could then inform instructional improvements moving forward.

Closed-loop assessment strategies rely on the ability to gather accurate data in real time. Mote reported that switching to NimblyWise saved faculty 80% of the time they previously spent manually entering data.

Mote also included recommendations for scaling your program and maximizing the efficacy of your assessment strategy:

    • Make the assessment required instead of optional to ensure full participation
    • Rather than designing separate pre/post-tests for each discipline, use the same test but include a subject field
    • Consider using more machine graded questions than open response questions to widen the data set

Download the full 35 minute webinar to glean further insights into TCCD’s methodology, and how they incorporated NimblyWise into their foundational skills assessment strategy!

Marlon Mote is the District Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Accreditation, and Planning at Tarrant Community College District. As a Higher Education Professional, Marlon has 10 years of experience in leading assessment, institutional effectiveness, and process improvement at two large community college districts. His current work involves directing program development, curriculum design, and implementing the district-wide assessment plan at Tarrant County College.