Assessment Conference

Student Life Assessment Conference:
Learning Beyond the Classroom: The Impact of Student Life on Student's connection, engagement, and belonging.

On May 16, 2018 Student Life held our first annual assessment conference. Abstracts and PowerPoint presentations for each of the sessions are avalible here.

8:30 a.m. Registration
9 a.m. Land Acknowledgement, Welcome and Overview
Jennifer Browne, Associate Director of Student Life
9:15 a.m. The Role of Assessment in Student Affairs Professional Practice Abstract PowerPoint
10 a.m. Operational Planning and Assessment in the Blundon Centre: changing philosophy and practice Abstract PowerPoint
11 a.m. Assessing the Impact of Student Supports on Student Learning & Engagement at Memorial University Abstract PowerPoint
12 p.m. Keynote and Lunch: Thriving Students: What a Flourishing University Experience Means for Students at Memorial University Abstract PowerPoint
2 p.m. Assessing the Impact of Employer Engagement on Student Learning and Development at Memorial University Abstract PowerPoint
3 p.m. Assessing the Impact of Welcome and Transition Programs on Student Learning and Engagement at Memorial University Abstract PowerPoint
4 p.m.  Closing Remarks
Jennifer Browne, Associate Director of Student Life


9:15  The Role of Assessment in Student Affairs Professional Practice
Dr. Jennifer Massey, Director of Student Life
Abstract: Over the past two decades, student affairs literature has highlighted the vital role assessment and research plays in supporting student learning. For student affairs professionals, assessment skills and practices are now more important than ever, as it has become an expectation for student affairs divisions to document the efficacy of co-curricular engagement in supporting student learning and the institutional mission. Student affairs leaders constantly grapple with accountability expectations from a diverse set of stakeholders. The development of learning outcomes and assessment reports are now core functions of many student affairs divisions as senior student affairs officers seek to illustrate the value of the programs, resources, supports, and facilities they oversee. Reflecting this trend, is the growth in published literature about student affairs assessment that offers many examples of how to effectively assess student learning outcomes in the co-curricular context. In this presentation, Jennie will situate the assessment work underway at Memorial University with national and international trends within the profession of Student Affairs and highlight how the work of Student Life in this area is not only emanating, but cultivating, best practices.


10 a.m.Operational Planning and Assessment in the Blundon Centre: changing philosophy and practice
Ms. Catherine Shortall, Educational Accessibility Specialist
Ms. Kathy Skinner, Accessibility Advisor

Abstract: The Glenn Roy Blundon Centre (the Centre), supports students to thrive by working collaboratively and innovatively with all campus and community partners to create equitable learning and living environments. The Centre’s work is positioned in the social model of disability and strives to increase the use of universal design in learning and in the built environment. Learning experiences are focused on activating learner responsibility from a strengths based perspective; highlighting the value of difference; the benefit from lived experience and the positive contributions they bring to the university community and or workplace; as well as the removal and prevention of barriers to accessible education; and cultivating an inclusive university community.

This 45 minute presentation will focus on the changing philosophy and how practice at the Centre has moved from transactional to transformational. This will include an introduction of key material such as the theoretical approach of social model of disability, which centers disability as natural and in the human rights discourse, as well as some of the concepts of universal design as they relate to teaching and learning as well as the built environment.

The presentation will illustrate the Centre’s current learning experiences in areas such as accessible education; accessibility and inclusion awareness and transitions of students ‘in-through-and-beyond’ the university experience and its plan to build assessment capacity to measure the extent to which students achieve the desired outcomes. The use of assessment tools like focus group; pre and post survey, observation; rubrics, self and peer evaluation as well as authentic or work integrated assessment will be explored. Q&A period to follow.


11 a.m.Assessing the Impact of Student Supports on Student Learning & Engagement at Memorial University

Ms. Shannon Dindyal, Coordinator of Student Supports
Ms. Heather Tobin, Coordinator of the Student Code of Conduct

Abstract: Student Support and Crisis Management (SSCM) provides supports and resources to empower students through positive coaching that encourages optimal student success. This is achieved through the provision of educational programs that promote health and wellbeing, spiritual development, personal growth and academic thriving. Programs offered through Student Support and Crisis Management are organized into three categories:

  1. Student Support includes: customized support plans; response and intervention for high-risk student incidents; co-ordination of coherent, organized and interdisciplinary responses; crisis response and intervention; and emergency funding.
  2. Student Code of Conduct includes: proactive education and response regarding the standards of conduct expected by students as members of the Memorial University community. The principals underlying the Code are educational and whenever appropriate the University encourages informal resolutions. The focus of the Student Code of Conduct rests mainly with restorative justice principals that seek mediation and ultimately a mutually satisfying resolution with the parties involved.
  3. Wellbeing Education includes: proactive implementation of programs, resources and supports that empower students to live happy and healthy lives.

This 45 minute presentation will focus on the student support aspect of SSCM. This will include an introduction of key material such as the theoretical approach to student support, models used to guide the work of student support, as well as desired learning outcomes and data from a recent assessment measuring the extent to which students achieve the desired learning outcomes. This will be followed by a Q&A period.
Learning outcomes:

By the end presentation, participants will have acquired new knowledge of the programs, resources and supports available through SSCM and the impact of these on students. More specifically,

  1. How SSCM empowers students, staff and faculty to assist students in identifying health practices that promote wellbeing that to promote student success.
  2. The range and frequency of reasons students seek support from SSCM and how this differs across academic programs.
  3. The extent to which students who receive supports from SSCM:
    a. Are motivated to continue with their learning following a setback.
    b. Apply their strengths to develop resolutions to personal and academic setbacks.
    c. Apply strategies that support positive decision-making.
    d. Connect with supports available through internal and external resources.

12 p.m.Keynote and Lunch: Thriving Students: What a Flourishing University Experience Means for Students at Memorial University

Eric J McIntosh will provide an overview of the foundational theories guiding the work of he and his colleague Dr. Laurie Schreiner on student thriving -- as construct they have been research since 2010. An expert on student thriving, Eric will provide a contextual understanding of the recently-measured student thriving survey of students at Memorial University.

During the Spring of 2018, Memorial University embarked on data collection from students using Dr. Schreiner's Thriving Quotient, a reliable and valid survey developed over the past decade to measure the psychological and social aspects that help inform a successful university student's path through postsecondary. Dr. McIntosh will present findings from the data collected from Memorial University students to provide both context for what informs student thriving at MUN, and provide recommendations for next steps to ensure every student at MUN will not just survive university, but thrive during his or her studies.

Eric J McIntosh spent 13 years working in various student affairs roles at three universities in Canada. With a PhD in higher education and student success, Eric’s research focuses on the psychological and social aspects that help explain how students successfully navigate university. Since 2007, Eric and his research colleagues in Los Angeles have been examining student thriving in university, a construct of human flourishing measuring student intellectual, emotional, and social engagement specific to the university experience. His 2012 dissertation was the first doctoral study published examining student thriving. In that study, he examined the distinct contributions of spirituality and a psychological sense of community in explaining the variation of thriving among students of color in a sample of American university and college students.

Eric currently serves on the senior consulting team of Civitas Learning - a software company based in Austin, Texas seeking to address issues impeding the success of postsecondary students. Eric works alongside Civitas partners throughout various data science engagements focusing on student supports, financial aid, and policy development. His recent research has been exploring the efficacy of positive psychology-oriented student messaging and nudges, with specific emphases on growth mindset development of students, and student resiliency.


2:00 p.m.Assessing the Impact of Employer Engagement on Student Learning and Development at Memorial University

Ms. Paula Strickland, Manager of Career Development
Ms. Danielle Jackson, Employer Development Coordinator

Abstract: Career Development (Student Life) coaches and empowers students, through a strengths-based approach, to gain increased self-awareness and to make informed decisions about their career planning and employment goals. Programs offered through Career Development are organized into three categories:

Employer Engagement includes: Direct opportunities for students to connect with a broad employer community and Memorial Alumni (through Annual Career & Graduate School Fair, Summer Job Fair, Coffee and Connect, Employer Information Sessions, guest speakers).
Experiential Learning Programs/Initiatives includes: Hands-on experiential work experience including both on and off campus employment programs (MUCEP, SWASP, GTEP, PACEE, CSJ).
Career Learning Series includes: A variety of workshops and programs that provide career development opportunities for students, one-on-one career advising, and classroom visits.

This 45-minute presentation will focus on the Employer Engagement aspect of Career Development, which fosters connections between students and employers for career planning, networking and job seeking purposes. The presentation will include an introduction to some theoretical models and best practices in the field that inform the philosophical approach used by Career Development. In addition, desired learning outcomes and data from a recent assessment measuring the extent to which students achieve the desired learning outcomes will be presented. This presentation will be followed by a Q&A period.
Learning outcomes:

By the end of presentation, participants will have acquired new knowledge of the signature Employer Engagement programs/initiatives offered through Career Development and more specifically, the extent to which these support students to:

  • Identify professional connections between their career goals and career opportunities;
  • Describe how their learning relates to their individual future goals;
  • Practice networking strategies; and
  • Develop a network of professionally relevant contacts.

3 p.m. Assessing the Impact of Welcome and Transition Programs on Student Learning and Engagement at Memorial University

The Student Experience Office empowers students – both current and prospective – by providing transition supports, leadership development and community engaged learning informed by best practices and ongoing assessment. Programs offered through the Student Experience Office are organized into three categories:

  1. New Student Experience includes: programming that assists students in their welcome and transitions to university and throughout their time at Memorial, including SOAR, Welcome Week and Winter Welcome.
  2. Student Leadership Development includes: opportunities for students to develop their leadership knowledge, skills and practice through hands-on learning (i.e. by assisting in the design and implementation of other student-serving programs), direct learning (i.e. through skill development workshops and conferences), curricular content and other opportunities.
  3. Community Engaged Learning includes: opportunities for students within the community (both on and off campus) that support students’ understanding of their academic learning and enhance their connections to community. This includes Make Mid-term Matter, the East Coast Trail Association Project, Academic Welcome Service activities and other experiential-based offerings.

The New Student Experience initiatives offered by the Student Experience Office cultivate student learning across the five elements of thriving: engaged learning, diverse citizenship, social connectedness, positive perspective, and academic determination (Schreiner, 2013). Most students experience this uneasy transition from the familiar to the unknown when entering university, albeit to different degrees and in different ways. Helping students move beyond this so they can thrive is essential for student success (Schreiner, 2012).

This 45 min presentation will present the key programming that constitutes the new student experience at Memorial, will review the literature that supports these programming choices, will provide an overview of the process of building the assessment framework for the new student experience at and will present the findings from the initial round of data collection. In addition to the focus on student learning outcomes there will be an examination of how different groups of students participate in and are impacted by welcome events.

By the end of this presentation participants will:

  • Articulate the lessons learned from building the assessment plan for the new student experience;
  • Identify the key parts of the new student experience and why they are important;
  • Know how effectively students achieved the designated learning outcomes for the new student experience;
  • Learn how different populations of students participate in welcome activities and effectively achieved designated learning outcomes.

Registration is free.
Register here.

Contact

Student Life

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000