The SUSTAINABILITY Primer: Sustaining Learning Outcomes and Assessment

By:  Kathy Telban and Ruth Stiehl


PREFACE: The OUTCOME Primers Series 20  
Once a Fad – Now a Fact!        xv
Distinguishing Our Work        xvi
PART ONE: Creating and Sustaining an Outcomes and Assessment Initiative  
Sustainability arises from a flow of information through adjustment cycles.
  Introduction: The Issue of Sustainability        3
Setting the Scene        5
Learning Evidence        6
Envisioning Everything in the Context of the Learner’s Journey        7
Starting at Ground Zero – the PROGRAM Comes First        10
Thinking in CYCLES        16
Envisioning the Flow of Learning Evidence Across Time         17
Summary         23
PART TWO: Gauging the Sustainability of an Outcomes and Assessment System
It’s when something works that people take their eyes off it.Barbara Bessey
Introduction 27
Four Critical Factors in Sustaining an Outcomes and Assessment System 27
Leadership: An Overview 28
Instructor Involvement: An Overview 29
Professional Development: An Overview 30
System Integration: An Overview 32
Four Sustainability Tools 32
Suggestions for Using These Tools 33
     Academic Officers 33
     Program Coordinators/Managers and Advisory Committees 33
     Lead Instructors 34
     Individual Instructors 34
PART THREE: Creating and Sustaining an Outcomes and Assessment System through Effective Leadership
Changing a whole system requires sustained leadership.
The Challenge of Leading Deep and Complex Change 53
Interdependence 54
Emergence 54
Self-Adjustment 55
Leadership at Three Different Levels 56
Becoming the Leaders We Want to Be 58
Leadership Requires Planning for Transition and Succession 60
PART FOUR: Creating and Sustaining an Outcomes and Assessment System through Instructor Involvement
There is nothing more foundational to outcomes thinking than to carry a mental image of paddlers on a white-water journey through unfamiliar rapids with a guide at the back.
Instructor as Engaged Learner 67
The Story 68
Involving Instructors in the Outcomes and Assessment Effort 87
PART FIVE: Creating and Sustaining an Outcomes and Assessment System through Professional Development  
The best part of learning is sharing what you know. – Vaugh K Lauer
Introduction: Rising to the Challenge of Professional Development 93
Terminology: The Place to Begin 93
A Professional Development  Plan 95
Core Work Sessions 96
Facilitator Training 118
Focused Conversations 118
Summary 119
PART SIX: Creating and Sustaining an Outcomes and Assessment System through System Integration
A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked.   – John Gall
A System’s View 123
Background 123
Stages of Integration and System Maturity 128
The Integration of Core Curricular Processes 131
Curriculum Design and Approval Processes 131
Learning Assessment Processes 134
Program Review Processes 139
Professional Development Processes 142
Support Functions in an Outcomes and Assessment System 145
Design Support 145
Documentation Support 145
Technology Support 147
Allocation of Time 154
Integrating the People 155
Assessing Assessment – Closing the Loop 156
PART Seven: Establishing and Sustaining Trust
Its not about speed; it’s about depth: sustainability happens at the depth of trust.
Cultivating Trust and Building Relationships 161
Why Trust is a Concern 162
Establishing Trust 165
Sustaining Trust 166
Appendix A
Our Preferred Terms for Creating and Sustaining an Outcomes and Assessment System 169
Fundamental Concepts 174
Appendix B: Reflections and Suggestions from the Trenches
Appendix C: Developing Significant Outcomes: A Facilitator’s Guide         183
Related Readings         193
Acknowledgements         199
About the Authors         201