Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning is an integral part of the planning and implementation of university activities. The model below illustrates the ethos and structure of Institutional Effectiveness at the American University of Paris.

Figure 1.2.1 The figure is a model for the Institutional Effectiveness process at AUP. The outer ring, filled by the large arrows represents the process calendar with the different phases of the assessment cycle, the second ring shows the data gathering and reporting process, the third ring shows the different stages of the budget cycle, and the fourth ring shows the associated consultation and communication process that accompany budgetary development. The inner circle, in red, represents the fact that the Institutional Effectiveness process is intended to support the mission, objectives and learning outcomes at all institutional levels.

The assessment process is best described as a continuous cycle, running on an annual calendar, of data gathering, data analysis, planning and budgetary allocation based on analysis results, plan implementation and back again to data gathering to assess the results of the implemented actions. Data gathering begins at the level of individual administrative units and academic departments which are driven by the need to measure the achievement of their objectives and learning outcomes. The units and departments plan future actions and make relevant budgetary requests. The data, analysis, planned actions, and budgetary requests are present by units and departments in their annual reports. These are read carefully by the Provost and by the IRAE Office in consultation with the IESC draft an Institutional Effectiveness report which is presented to the University Leadership that allocates budget as appropriate. The planned actions are then implemented and the cycle continues with a new assessment phase.


Roles and Responsibilities

Heads of administrative units and chairs of academic departments are responsible for planning, implementing and reporting in a timely fashion on the assessment processes within their units. The chair of the Global Liberal Arts Core Curriculum Committee is responsible for producing the GLACC Brief (general education assessment report), she is supported by the committee and the chairs of departments offering general education courses (e.g. English, French, Mathematics, Science).

 The IRAE Office provides support and guidance for assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness. The office aims to enable continuous improvement of student learning and promotes institutional effectiveness through the analysis of the quality and variety of student learning experiences and the evaluation of the effectiveness of all academic and administrative processes of the institution. The Dean, supported by the Institutional Effectiveness Steering Committee works in strict collaboration with all units of the institution ensuring that assessment processes are effective and informative, that the planned actions resulting from the analysis of evidence are visible, realistic and eventually implemented and assessed in their turn.


Assessment of the Institutional Effectiveness process

The IESC is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Institutional Effectiveness process itself. This is generally referred to as the “assessment of assessment.” The IRAE Office uses a mix of simple and complex indicators to assess the quality of the IE process. Examples of simple indicators are: the average delay in unit and department report drafting, the number of reports drafted by their due date, and the percentage of courses for which we have obtained good quality assessment data. Complex data are obtained by applying three specific rubrics, developed by the IESC, for the evaluation of departmental reports, administrative unit reports, and the Institutional Effectiveness Process.


University Outcomes Assessment Day

Sharing of assessment results begins at the end of each academic year with an Outcomes Assessment Day open to the whole University community and attended by the President, Leadership Team, and heads of all departments, programs and units. During the day, those who have led assessment for the various University units report on demonstrated achievements and problems; they focus, in particular, on assessment-based planning for the unit. Assessment leaders also highlight lessons learned during the assessment process, addressing measurement methodologies that have been particularly fruitful or difficult to implement as well as activities that have been more difficult to assess or for which particularly interesting results have been uncovered. A report of the event is shared among community members.

The objective of the University Outcomes Assessment Day is threefold: first, getting members of different units to gain a better knowledge of each other’s work, plans, challenges and achievements; second, sharing assessment best practices and supporting each other in the continuous improvement and adaptation of assessment processes; third, provide the President and Leadership Team with an immediate overview of the plans of each unit and the resources that will be requested to implement these plans, de facto initiating a new cycle of the Planning-Implementation-Assessment process on an institutional level.