3 ResLife Pro Quick Tips for Putting Students at the Center of Assessment Efforts

Roompact’s “Quick Tips” series highlights ideas and suggestions you can put into your practice as either a professional staff or student staff member working in residence life and education. Click to read more from the series.

Assessment is about improving your practice, but it is ultimately about enhancing the college experience for students. When designing your assessment efforts, don’t lose sight of your ultimate end goal. Put students at the center. The following are three tips for designing student-centric assessment efforts:

1. Assess multiple times, from multiple angles, and from multiple points of view.

To get a better sense of your student experience, you need to look at multiple points of data coming in from multiple locations. 360 degree assessment can allow you to compare data, gain different insights, and see your student through multiples lenses. This can better reflect the diversity of the student experience and contribute to a more holistic picture.

The student experience also changes over time. When creating your assessment plans, make sure to re-evaluate aspects of the student experience longitudinally. Although you may reach one conclusion at one point in time, continuously reevaluate your assumed truths. Assessment is a commitment, not just a one-off activity.

2. Use assessment as an opportunity for student learning and reflection.

Assessment can be an opportunity to enhance the student experience itself. The process of asking questions and gathering data is an excellent way to enhance student learning and development. For example, utilizing reflection questions as a part of assessment can double as an opportunity for enhancing student learning in the moment. Well designed assessment efforts can be both formative and summative. It’s a mutual win.

3. Just ask!

Assessment is the story of your students, and students are typically very willing to share their experiences. Sometimes it’s just as simple as asking student about their experience. This can be an excellent informal assessment measure, but could also be formalized through focus groups and other means. You could also include direct student representation on your assessment teams and in your assessment meetings. Try to bring student voices into the assessment that you do.


Roompact provides a number of tools to help in your assessment efforts–by making your data easily accessible and downloadable and through Insights Reports that can help you digger deeper to gain even an even better understanding of your practice.

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