Seals of Assessment Excellence and Letters of Commendation for
Purpose of the UAC's Assessment AwardsClick here to explore the purpose of the UAC's Assessment Awards
The purposes of
Northern Arizona University’s assessment seals and letters are to 1) recognize
academic programs for outstanding work in assessing student learning through
meaningful assessment approaches and the
application of assessment findings to document and/or enhance curriculum,
learning design and assessment practices, 2) encourage academic programs to
showcase program-level achievements in student learning as well as innovations
in curriculum, learning design, and academic assessment, and 3) promote
promising practices in assessment and its application to learning design by sharing
strategies and experiences across the disciplines.
The Seal of Assessment ExcellenceClick here to learn about the Seal of Assessment Excellence
The Seal of
Assessment Excellence recognizes outstanding work on all three assessment
phases (Phase 1: Mission, Student Learning Outcomes, and Assessment Strategy, Phase
2: Data Collection, and Phase 3: Summary of Findings, Interpretations, and
Recommendations) as evidenced by the Annual Assessment Report.
programs earning this recognition have carefully planned for assessment,
including developing a program mission, student learning outcomes, and a
curriculum map. Additionally, they have designed assessment measures and a
strategy that facilitated answering an assessment question of importance to the
program. Finally, they have included the majority, if not all, faculty members in
developing and implementing the assessment strategy as well as discussing and
using assessment results to make recommendations for changes to curriculum,
learning design, and assessment.
Following best practices of assessment, these programs demonstrate the
integral connection between curriculum, learning design, and assessment
process for the Seal of Assessment Excellence is conducted jointly by the
University Assessment Committee (UAC) and the Office of Curriculum, Learning
Design, and Academic Assessment (OCLDAA). UAC members review annual assessment
reports submitted during the academic year by using a detailed rubric that
provides feedback to academic programs. In addition to providing feedback, UAC review
teams identify programs to be considered for the Seal of Assessment Excellence
based upon the distinguished ratings provided by UAC members across all three
phases of their assessment reports. During the summer, OCLDAA staff review the
rubric feedback and assessment reports for all programs recommended as possible
seal recipients and determine which programs will receive a Seal of Assessment
Excellence. At the first UAC meeting each fall, the UAC reviews the list of
nominated programs, prior to seeking endorsement from the Provost and the Vice
President for Academic Affairs.
The Letter of CommendationClick here to learn about the Letter of Commendation
The Letter of
Commendation recognizes specific outstanding work in any of the three
assessment phases. The letter might acknowledge, for example, academic programs
that effectively used curriculum mapping for understanding and improving
student learning, developed an innovative approach to assessment design, or made
improvements in the use of assessment results over time.
Similar to the nomination process for Seals of Assessment
Excellence, UAC review teams identify programs to be considered for a Letter of
Commendation as they are reviewing Annual Assessment Reports. During the summer, the OCLDAA staff reviews
the rubric feedback for all recommended programs and compiles a list of
possible recipients. Following endorsement by the Associate Vice Provost for
Curriculum and Assessment, Letters of Commendation are sent to the academic
programs early in the fall semester.
Recognition of Seal and Letter RecipientsClick here to learn about the recognition of our seal and letter recipients
To recognize our
Seal Recipients, the Seals of Assessment Excellence are presented at a
celebration dinner during the fall semester. Additionally, an electronic seal
is sent to the program for display on their program website. Finally, program annual
assessment reports that have received the Seal of Assessment Excellence are
specially designated on the OCLDAA website in the report archives so that
program faculty campus-wide can easily find these outstanding reports and
peruse them for assessment ideas.
Recipients of the Seal of Assessment Excellence or
Letter of Commendation will be invited to participate in a variety of venues to
share their assessment expertise with their colleagues. As
recognized leaders of assessment efforts, recipients will be invited to share
their assessment experiences with colleagues at a Café Meeting (the Café
meeting is an informal opportunity for faculty from an academic program to meet
with UAC members and OCLDAA staff over coffee and talk about assessment).
Recipients will also receive a special invitation to present their work and be
recognized at the Spring NAU Assessment Fair.