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Evaluation and Assessment

In defining organizational goals and objectives, the acronym SMART was explained:

S pecific - use concrete, unambiguous language
M easurable - start to consider how you’ll determine success
A ttainable - do you have the requisite time/resources/people?
R ealistic - is success likely, given the above?
T ime-bound - indicate time frames so that end points are clear

The “MART” in SMART is all about assessment and evaluation. How will you know that you’ve completed objectives or reached Goals? It might seem like this question has an obvious answer, but how you measure success is crucially important. In reviewing the acronym above, goals (and objectives) must be measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. These criteria ensure impactful assessment for specific goals and objectives. 

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Assessment is an ongoing process of connecting actions to the identified goals and should consider the perspectives of all stakeholders (faculty, students, staff, postdocs, etc). Closely related to assessment is evaluation which can only be performed as a result of rigorous assessment. Evaluation involves judgment and depends on the data collected during assessment

Assessment can be formative (occurring before and during a project) and/or summative (taking place upon project completion. Examples of formative assessments include: surveys, focus groups, information discussions. Summative assessments may also include surveys and focus group discussions as well as formal presentations but their purpose is to reflect upon the objective as a whole. 

ASSESSMENT: For each goal, consider:

  1. What are the key outcomes? In tangible terms, what does success look like?
    • Does it look different for different stakeholders?
    • What will it look like for specific procedures, for the unit as a whole?
  2. What quantity is to be achieved? What quality is to be realized?
  3. What metrics will you use to measure these outcomes? (be specific!)
  4. Who will do the measuring? (by) when? at what cost?

EVALUATION: As a result of the answers above, consider the following:

  1. Did this objective serve its intended purpose?
  2. Were the resources required worth the outcomes achieved?
  3. Did our metrics employed effectively target the information required?

Upon completion of your metrics and assessment, please contact the Chief Diversity Office.