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Waukesha faculty member presents paper at 2021 Assessment Institute

Cassandra Phillips

Cassandra Phillips is a UWM at Waukesha English professor and also the First-Year Writing and Developmental English Coordinator for the College of General Studies. Her research focuses on literacy and pedagogy as well as developing writing programs, curricula, and pedagogies for access institutions. She recently had the opportunity to present her paper, “Using Multiple Assessment Measures for Implementing Ethical and Equitable Reforms,” at the 2021 Assessment Institute in October hosted by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Professor Phillips’ paper describes strategies for assessing reform initiatives that affect students’ educational pathways at community colleges and other open-access institutions that serve a broad range of learners from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. Participants will learn why ethical and equitable changes to placement, developmental education, curricular pathways, and other reforms require multiple types of assessment data collected locally over time. The session will take attendees through the process of using both quantitative and qualitative assessment measures to pilot student-centered reforms, scale up and implement wide scale change, and use ongoing assessment to make subsequent revisions to curriculum and instruction.

In addition to this paper, she also wrote a chapter for Transformations: Change Work Across Writing Programs, Pedagogies, and Practices entitled, “Designing an Open-Access Online Writing Program: Negotiating Tensions between Disciplinary Ideals and Institutional Realities.” This book chapter describes the process of negotiating tensions between disciplinary practices and the complex realities of designing and implementing change within an online writing program under conditions of austerity while serving a wide range of diverse learners, including students who have limited experience with academic literacy and using technology as a tool for learning. We discuss how a major component of program redesign efforts focuses on creating a cohesive online writing program that reflects disciplinary best practices and the unique learning needs of online students at an open-access institution.

Watch the paper presentation at the Purdue Assessment Institute here.