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Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research


Accountability in higher education is an increasing high stakes activity. The demand continues by both internal and external stakeholders of postsecondary education for demonstrable evidence that students are learning and that professors are having an effect on student learning. The use of dashboards in higher education—a concept borrowed from the business world—grows daily. In higher education, dashboards are being used as tracking tools from the departmental to the institutional level to monitor performance and support data-informed decision-making. The term “dashboard” refers to a scorecard data display using indicators to present the status of key performance indicators, often including some kind of formative or summative performance evaluations.

This roundtable discussion will engage participants in a case study analysis of key stakeholders involved in creating institutional dashboards for student outcomes assessment and disciplinary program review at two private liberal arts institutions in central Minnesota. The case study explores how the various contexts of the faculty, the administration, and members of the boards influenced the creation and use of institutional dashboards. Participants will consider how they can bring "lessons learned" back to their campuses to better understand the homogeneous and heterogeneous nature of different stakeholder contexts in creating a measure of institutional effectiveness.