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Descriptions and guidelines of assessments appropriate for public scholarship

This is an excerpt from Public Scholarship in Dance by Lynnette Overby.

Throughout this book, many examples of assessment are presented in the context of specific programs and projects. Various forms of assessments provide public scholars with materials that can be used for documentation of community engagement projects and for evaluation and revision of current work. Assessment may be formative (occur on a regular basis throughout the project) or summative (occurring only at the end of the project). Assessment is essential for marketing and documenting the project and preparing materials for consideration in promotion, tenure, and merit. This chapter presents descriptions and guidelines of assessments appropriate for public scholarship in teaching, choreography, research, and service.

Assessment is key to providing information for program evaluation and improvement and demonstrating the impact of the project. When selecting and designing assessment instruments, educators and administrators should thoroughly understand the program context and goals. Next, identification of resources in terms of time and personnel is needed. The following questions can help in establishing the beginning of the assessment process (Gelmon et al. 2001):

  • What is the aim of the assessment?
  • Who wants or needs the information from the assessment?
  • What resources are available to support the assessment?
  • Who will conduct the assessment?
  • How can one ensure the results are used?

Answers to these questions allow the assessment process to fit the specific circumstances involved in the program. The aims will be clearly articulated, and the assessment will take place with appropriate instrumentation and allocation of resources.

Project Development: The Logic Model

The logic model is used for planning, implementation, and assessment of various types of projects. It is also a useful communication device. The parts of the model include inputs (resources, contributions, and investments that go into the program); outputs (activities, services, events, and products); and outcomes (results or changes that are expected for individuals, groups, communities, or organizations). An example of a logic model appears in table 6.1.

Learn more about Public Scholarship in Dance.

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