Assessment Mini-Grant Program
The areas and possible directions for the activities below do not cover all of the possibilities for the directions mini-grants projects might take. However, the constant in all proposals must be the gathering and use of information/data and sharing of the data in a written form with the campus entities that may benefit from or apply the information. Funding requests for these mini-grants are for $500 or less.
- Research, apply, and share assessment issues and strategies related to your discipline.
- Explore ways to involve students in assessment activities and planning.
- Organize a discussion group around a book or set of readings on assessment and explore implications for departmental assessment activities.
- Plan a departmental retreat to review/develop/evaluate department assessment plans and strategies.
- Systematize data collection efforts to spread them over the time period between Academic Program Reviews.
- Identify constituent needs with respect to student learning outcomes and program outcomes.
- Review, revise, and/or update student learning outcome statements.
- Examine connections between assessment activities done for an outside accrediting agency and VCSU student outcomes assessment procedures and plan ways to make the two work together.
- Develop ways to add or increase faculty participation in the assessment process.
Assessment Tools and Methods
- Develop rubrics for evaluating student work used for assessment- e.g., portfolios, writing assignments, projects.
- Pilot-test the use of an evaluation system for rating student performance for assessment purposes.
- Develop a new assessment tool- e.g., a survey, an assignment or project.
- Review/revise/develop student, alumni and employer surveys.
- Review and/or pilot test software or special equipment that could be useful to your department's assessment processes.
- Explore ways to embed assessment methods in classes.
- Identify and develop/test strategies for making use of external communities (alumni, employers, internship reports, etc.) to validate student learning.
Use of Assessment Data
- Create reports/summaries using data that has been collected in the past.
- Enter and analyze data that has been collected but not yet processed.
- Connect assessment data with specific learning outcomes and create a format for reporting on the data and what has been learned from it.
- Determine usefulness of current data and explore additional data needs to provide necessary and useful information on student learning outcomes.
Recordkeeping and Procedures
- Develop procedures and/or a database for recording and tracking assessment-related data and findings.
- Create tools/strategies for collecting anecdotal or performance examples of student achievement.
- Review/revise/develop procedures for yearly/bi-yearly/other regular updating of assessment data and assessment-related activity and results between academic program reviews.
Applying for an Assessment Mini-Grant
- Funding Request Deadline - Those individuals wishing to receive funding for research grants must submit their grant application form by the application deadlines.
- Use the type-able Assessment Application found on the left side under Forms.
- Chair or Dean Approval: Application for Assessment Mini-Grants funding is not complete without an email acknowledgement of the proposal by the Department Chair(s) and/or the Dean or Division Chair(s) involved in the proposed grant funded project. A suggested format for the email would be:
I am familiar with the proposed assessment project entitled [name of project] led by [name of project leader] and approve of its submission for funding from the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. [Additional comments in support of the project are optional, but may be added]
- Submit your application by email to: Misty Lindgren, assistant for the Office of Graduate Studies and Research firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Grant Money Expenses: If awarded, grant money must be spent within the fiscal year. Grant monies do not roll over into the next fiscal year.
- Final Report: A final report is required of the project leader. Reports must be turned in to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research within 30 days after the end of the fiscal year in which the research was funded.
1. A short abstract of the project highlighting the purpose, the results, and any planned follow-up to the project. A picture of the participants is encouraged. (The abstract will be placed in the Hotline.)
2. A one to two page report of the project including a budget indicating how the grant funds were spent.
Criteria for Review of Mini-Grant Proposals
- Relationship of project to specific department assessment
- Potential to support development with respect to student leaning and/or department/program assessment planning
- Clarity of purpose and intended outcomes
- A clearly defined strategy for disseminating and/or using the project outcomes