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Pilot Assessment Initiatives

The dean of faculty office recently announced a series of pilot assessment programs. These are designed to foster discussion about what we want students to know, understand, and be able to do as a result of a Hampshire education and how Hampshire might engage in continued inquiry and improvement of our curriculum and pedagogy. Recognizing that helping to create an assessment program is work above and beyond expectations, participants will be paid to be involved in these pilots. It is a service to the College, and we are grateful for your participation.

All pilots require having a plan of action that you negotiate with the dean of curriculum and assessment and create a short report at the end with your findings. All pilots pay $400 per faculty member for about 15-20 hours of work.

For Faculty:

Create customized goals and modes of assessment: Choose the learning goal(s) to focus on. These can be those you most care about in a Hampshire education or goals that your current students articulate for themselves. Devise a plan to assess student work/process on these goals. This can be by creating customized rubrics or through other systematic means: qualitative and/or quantitative, as you select. This can be done with your Division II or III students.

Pilot a Division III rubric (pdf): The rubric posted here was created by a number of Hampshire faculty along with faculty from six other liberal arts colleges over a number of years. This pilot entails engaging in a discussion about the rubric, and using it with your Div III students to give them feedback as they progress in Div III, then using it to collect data for the pilot at the end (it does not become part of your students’ academic record; results are aggregated anonymously). You can add to the rubric or subtract to make it work better for you and your students.

Study of narrative evaluations: Let’s look at what we actually evaluate in student work. We will engage in a study by cutting apart Division II and III evaluations into individual statements and organizing these into distinct criteria/goals. This will give us a set of goals we end up caring enough about to write about.

Related Projects

EPC is leading a process of curriculum mapping: This is a look at the structure of our divisional system, considering the goals for students and the processes that support them. We’ll take a backwards approach, starting with Division III. Look for information from EPC about how to get involved in the process, or contact Laura Wenk, dean of curriculum and assessment, at

For Students:

Division III students: Be paid to join a Div III group. We’ll meet biweekly to discuss what you are doing/how it is going. Keep a journal in between sessions to understand the rhythm of your work: What helps you get work done? What are the obstacles? How could you adjust? What do you most want from one another and from faculty? Also, write about your goals and reflect on how you are doing moving ahead on these goals, etc.

For more information or to get involved, contact Laura Wenk, dean of curriculum and assessment, at


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