So I’m sitting here looking at the raw data from course evaluations for my U-Engage section this past Fall and all I can say is “numbers don’t tell me the story I want to hear”; I guess this explains why I won’t be looking for jobs in accounting anytime soon. Even when the numbers are good, say 90% or more strongly agreeing or agreeing that the course communicated the shared values of the OSU community, helped them become familiar with OSU resources, found instructors to be well prepared, approachable, and sensitive to issues of diversity, I’m still looking for more. I guess it’s the student affairs professional in me, but I want to written examples of how the OSU values resonate with them. I want to know what resources they used and what support they received. I want words to describe our level of preparedness, approachability and sensitivity.
Perhaps I would like the data more if it were in the form of a pie chart. Perhaps if had included a few brief passages supporting the numbers I was seeing. Overall, I think that this experience has made me realize the importance of creating assessment presentations that include numbers, percentages, pie charts, written comments, and any other forms of data that may tell the whole story to stakeholders and target audiences. These people will have different learning styles and creating a number of ways to view an assessment will be essential in making sure they all walk away with a similar message.