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Interpreting and Acting on Data

The point of collecting data is to come together as a faculty to discuss what the data say and what the next steps are. Doing so can be one of the most worthwhile and energizing parts of the assessment process, as data is turned into valuable information and then into action through conversation among colleagues.

Broadly speaking the types of data we review come from 2 sources:  signature assignments and surveys. The Assessment Office has developed data discussion guides to help groups structure and facilitate their data discussions. You can access each of these below:

Here are some tips and resources for having a productive data discussion:

  • Set aside at least 2 hours if you are having a single meeting to review all of your data for the year.
  • Bring copies of relevant documents such as:
  • It is helpful if one colleague can lead the conversation and another one agrees to take notes and summarize the main points.
  • Remember, the whole point of this is to data into information and information into action. Don’t let the meeting end until you have agreed on next steps for how to strengthen your program and support student success!

Finally, knowing how to interpret data and turn it into action is not always easy. You may find some of the tips and ideas on the following document useful:  Taking Action Based on Assessment Data (PDF)​