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The Assessment Network of New York (ANNY) held its sixth annual conference at the Embassy Suites by Hilton at East Syracuse, New York during April 18-20, 2018. More than 130 persons attended the conference, even as winter made a last stand with rounds of snow during the first two days of the conference.
The conference featured keynote addresses by Dr. Robert W. Aaron, Executive Director of Student Affairs Assessment and Planning at Northwestern University; Dr. Thomas A. Angelo from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and, Dr. W. Allen Richman, Senior Director for Research at the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Dr. Aaron spoke about focusing on co-curricular assessment as a means to develop deeper understanding of students’ out-of-class learning experiences. His discussion involved mapping such experiences with larger institutional learning domains and using the results of such assessment to promote continuous improvement of the out-of-class student learning experience. Dr. Angelo spoke about ongoing public criticism of assessment, differentiating between valid and not well-deserved criticism. He laid out guidelines for making assessment more motivating, authentic, valid, sustainable and effective. In a subsequent session, Dr. Angelo built on that framework to provide a framework to increasing the impact of assessment by tying it to goals/motivations, linking it to research-based guidelines for improving student learning, and placing it in the context of Bloom’s Cognitive Domain Taxonomy and Bondy’s Clinical Performance Ratings Scale. Dr. Richman discussed assessment from a systems perspective to cultivate institutional improvement and sustainable assessment practices.
In addition to the three keynote addresses and Dr. Angelo’s workshop, the conference featured a range of concurrent workshops. These concurrent sessions featured such topics as “Deeper Learning by Design,” “Developing Unit Level Assessment Metrics to Drive Departmental and Institutional Planning and Effectiveness,” and “Assessment of Administrative, Educational, and Support Service Units.”
Next year, ANNY’s annual conference will be held April 10-12 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Saratoga Springs, New York. Prior to that, ANNY will be holding a regional conference at Buffalo State University’s Jacqueline Vito LoRusso Alumni and Welcome Center on October 9, 2018.