Award for Excellence in Course Assessment

The Office of Teaching and Learning invites applications for this award that honors individuals or small teams for creative and thorough methods of assessment in individual courses or a series of consecutive courses. The award promotes sharing of outstanding assessment models with the North Dakota State University (NDSU) community. More than one award may be given at the discretion of the Assessment Awards Committee.

Award winners will receive $500 (for individuals and small teams) to use for professional development.



Teaching faculty and staff can nominate themselves, or may be nominationated by a colleague(s) and/or student(s). Please limit award applications four pages, composed of one cover page and three additional pages describing how the nominee meets the criteria listed below. Applications can be submitted starting January 1st and are due by March 1, annually.

Cover page - The cover page should include name, department, email address, and phone number for the nominee and, if applicable, the nominator.

The Award for Excellence in Course Assessment nominee must demonstrate the following attributes about assessment protocol:

  1. Assesses either formative or summative student learning,
  2. Focuses on specific learning objectives,
  3. Has been used to improve student learning,
  4. Is appropriate for their course level,
  5. Uses valid, effective data collection methods,
  6. Gives a product and/or data that clearly assesses the learning objectives,
  7. Can be used long-term,
  8. Is amenable to modification with time, and
  9. Can be adopted or modified for use in other courses across campus.

The Assessment Awards Committee will meet to assess and evaluate submissions. Recipients will be announced on or before April 14, annually. Contact Jill Motschenbacher, Office of Teaching and Learning, with questions.




2020 Excellence in Course Assessment Award Winner:

It is an honor to announce that Dr. Mijia Yang from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering was selected for the 2020 Award for Excellence in Course Assessment. Dr. Yang has been a ABET assessment coordinator for his department since 2017.

The Assessment Award Committee chose Dr. Yang because of the quality and variety of formative and summative assessments used in his CE 430: Timber and Formwork Design course, which focuses on inquiry- and information-based learning to improve student interaction with the instructor. "As a department, we conduct course and program assessments every year. However, there is always some subjective nature in this process. Typically, student outcomes are clear for a program, but what assessment tools and data the faculty intend to use or collect needs to be well planned before the start of the class.' says Dr. Yang.

Yang's nomination particularly stood out to the Committee because he demonstrated that ongoing instructional change has occurred, and is occurring, in the classroom as a result of assessing individual student learning. His assessment plan was organized, focused, adaptable over time, and demonstrated the continual flow between teaching, assessment, and student learning.

Dr. Yang said of the award, "When I heard the news that my course assessment practice won the University Course Assessment Award, I was extremely excited. This University Course Assessment Award strengthens our rationale in aligning the assessment tools with student outcomes and enhances our confidence in future course and program assessments."  

Dr. Yang received a $500 prize to use toward a professional development opportunity of his choice.

Nominations for the 2021 Assessment Awards will be accepted January 1 through March 1, 2021. If you know of someone who is doing standout work in the area of assessment in their course, do not hesitate to nominate them for this important award.


Past Winners:

2019 - No Award Given

2018 - Heidi N. Eukel, Jeanne E. Frenzel, and Elizabeth T. Skoy; PharmD

Drs. Eukel, Frenzel, and Skoy were selected because of the quality and variety of formative and summative assessments used in their class, which focus on both individual and team learning. The team demonstrated that ongoing instructional change has occurred, and is occurring, in the classroom as a result of assessing student learning. Their assessment plan was organized, focused, adaptable over time, and can be used as a model for other courses. 


2017 - Brody Maack, PharmD

Dr. Maack was selected because of the wide range of assessment practices and methods he employs to effectively teach the Pharmacy 538 (PHRM 538) – Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Diseases course.  Dr. Maack's nomination particularly stood out because of the methodical way he uses multiple assessment tools throughout the course to support student engagement. His use of both formative and summative assessment practices to assess student learning creates a well-developed course assessment model that is sustainable and adaptable to other courses.

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