Strategic Assessment of Institutional Learning (SAIL)

Created By and With Faculty

Based on foci developed by the General Education Taskforce, the SAIL initiative strategically advances a research-informed process based on committee-directed principles and faculty-led pilots to identify options for assessing student achievement of TRU’s eight institutional learning outcomes.

Informs Options for Assessing Institutional Learning

SAIL Pilots inform emerging Learning Outcomes and Assessment Taskforce (LOATF) recommendations for a model of continuous learning outcomes assessment and curriculum review that fits within structures and processes established at TRU.

Aligned With Principles

All SAIL pilots are aligned with the six DRAFT Learning Outcomes and Assessment Principles proposed by LOATF to guide learning outcomes assessment at TRU.  The six guiding principles are:

• Equitable and Learner-Centered
• Growth and Learning-Oriented
• Purposeful and Holistic Design
• Rigorous, Ongoing Cyclical Improvement
• Faculty-designed for Learning
• Reflexive Approach to Learning

Faculty-led Pilot Projects (January – June, 2021)

Faculty members participating in the initial SAIL Pilot selected three institutional learning outcomes (ILO) to assess: Lifelong Learning, Social Responsibility, and Critical Thinking & Investigation.

Each Pilot Consists of

Faculty members participating as co-creators in the SAIL Pilot worked with the SAIL facilitators, Dr. Alana Hoare and Dr. Carolyn Hoessler, to:
• Co-create a useful and relevant institutional rubric with colleagues
• Identify relevant artifacts (student assignments) in Winter 2021 courses
• Assess two sets of artifacts with the rubric they developed
• Provide feedback on the process.

The faculty-created rubrics drew on existing foci tools for institutional learning outcomes developed by the General Education Taskforce and approved by the Academic Planning and Priorities Committee of Senate in Spring 2020.

The SAIL facilitators provided guidance on institutional-appropriate consent processes and data management approaches to address privacy and other requirements, and appropriate storage support.

A presentation titled SAILing Forth, which described the process and findings from the initial SAIL Pilot, was accepted for the 2021 Assessment Institute, hosted by IUPUI which is “the global gathering place focused on higher education assessment and improvement”.

Timeline and Time Commitment

The first SAIL Pilot followed a six-month timeline, with an initial information session conducted in December 2020. Future pilots may follow an adapted timeline that considers course design and disciplinary requirements

Dec. 2020 Initial info session and faculty opt-in to participate 1 hour
Jan. - Feb. 2021 Co-creation of multi-disciplinary institutional rubrics; selection of assignments 7 - 10 hours
Apr. - May 2021 Assessor training and assessment of student work using rubrics 15 – 25 hours
June 2021 Follow up sessions to debrief 2 hours
June 2021 (Optional) Preparation and recording of Assessment Instittue accepted presentation 6-8 hours
  Total 23 – 36 hours
Contact Facilitators

Quality Assurance & Accreditation Liaison Officer – Dr. Alana Hoare 
Coordinator, learning and faculty development – Dr. Carolyn Hoessler

Frequently Asked Topics for the SAIL 2021 Pilot
 Student Consent and Sampling

• Students will be asked to consent for use of their assignment and any use of grades for stratified sampling (ensuring have students with a range of academic performance).
• A subset of students’ assignments will be assessed.
• Approximately 10-15 per class, dependent on student consent.

 Contextualized Yet Keeping It Simple

• Focus on a subset of ILOs; 3-4 faculty per ILO ideally.
• Aim for shared rubrics that focus on the similarities across courses based on the foci while considering the individual needs of each course in the pilot.
• Faculty participating will be asked to provide a note about the context and their thoughts on the results to contextualize the data. Focus reporting on the process and experience.

 Not About Assessing Faculty

• Faculty will be provided with a course-specific report for their class for their own use to reflect on and consider improvements to student learning. All other reports will be aggregated data with no courses or faculty identified.

 Consultations with TRU Community


• Intercultural committee: November 23, 2020
• LOATF: December 1, 2020 presentation, monthly updates
• TLC: monthly updates
• Open info session: December 9, 2020

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