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Quality Enhancement Plan

Development of an Assessment Protocol

Recognizing the importance of assessment to the QEP's implementation and effectiveness, the President's Office, in March 2005, launched the Engaging Houston Survey (Appendix H). This Survey was used to develop a comprehensive assessment of Rice's current engagement with Houston and to provide a baseline for the university's QEP efforts. 

At the direction of the Steering Committee, the university's Office of Institutional Research, educational assessment consultants Dr. Jerry Osborne and Dr. Will Weber, and representatives from the Steering Committee were given responsibility for planning a strategy for assessing the QEP and its learning outcomes. On July 27, 2005, Weber and Osborne met with members of the Steering Committee and the director of the university's Office of Institutional Research to discuss assessment approaches and options. Thereafter, Weber and Osborne met monthly with key members of the Steering Committee to design processes for identifying QEP learning objectives and outcomes, as well as for the collection, dissemination, and use of assessment data. 

Dr. Janice Bordeaux, Associate Director for Undergraduate Research and Assessment in the George R. Brown School of Engineering, was also involved in charting the assessment strategy. Dr. Bordeaux recently played a leadership role in the development of assessment protocols for the School of Engineering's ABET accreditation process. 

In concert with the Dean of Undergraduates, Weber and Osborne also facilitated a series of meetings with the QEP Faculty Advisory Group. The Faculty Advisory Group, chaired by Dean Forman, was comprised of representatives from the Schools of Architecture, Engineering, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. Members of the group were selected on the basis of their experience teaching courses that included successful community-based research or design modules. During these meetings, the group identified the QEP learning objectives and outcomes, and provided feedback regarding the design and implementation of the assessment protocol. The Faculty Group was essential for building consensus and support for the aims of the QEP among the faculty at large. The Dean of Undergraduates reinforced the work of the Faculty Group by meeting with the deans of the various Schools and a variety of department chairs.