Three Things You Need for a (Productive) Data-Informed Discussion

March 23, 2022 Nikki Kowbel

There’s nothing worse than wasting time in meetings, and when you’re striving for continuous improvement, it’s critical that your conversations around assessment data are as productive as possible. Here are three ways to make your data review discussions more effective.

A Solid Summary

Everyone thinks differently, and graphs and charts don’t work for everyone. Provide a succinct (yet thorough) summary of the assessment data. This enables all of the participants to get an overview in a format that resonates with them so that they can come to the conversation prepared to share insights and discuss next steps rather than spending excess time reviewing the numbers.

A Regular Review Process

Review meetings should take place at least once a year, but everyone on the team should be looking at the data much more often. If you’re looking for faculty to participate in data analysis, find ways to make it easy for them to engage on a regular basis, show them the benefits of making it part of their daily work, and even offer incentives.

The Right Team

Be sure to invite key decision makers to participate in the discussion, including department chairs and deans. Having the right people at the table not only ensures you’re getting a wide range of perspectives, but it also makes it possible to make decisions and take action when you identify an opportunity for improvement.

Using a digital assessment solution like Planning & Self-Study by Watermark makes all of this easier by putting all of your assessment data at your fingertips so you can slice and dice the data in a way that makes sense for your stakeholders.

Check out Assessment Foundations: Making Data-Informed Decisions for more tips.

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