The Office of Teaching and Learning invites applications for this award that honors academic programs for documenting and improving assessment effectiveness over time. The award promotes sharing of outstanding program assessment models with the NDSU community. More than one award may be given at the discretion of the Assessment Awards Committee.
To honor the memory of Dr. Amy Rupiper Taggart, North Dakota State University’s (NDSU) Office of Teaching and Learning has renamed the annual Award for Excellence in Program Assessment as the “Amy Rupiper Taggart Award for Excellence in Program Assessment.” The award will continue to recognize “individuals or small teams for creative and thorough methods of gathering evidence to evaluate student learning. The award promotes sharing of outstanding assessment models with the NDSU community.”
Dr. Taggart joined the NDSU English Department in 2002 after earning her Ph.D. at Texas Christian University. As Director of the First-Year Writing Program from 2008-12, she was deeply involved in improving and sustaining the program, one of NDSU’s premier assessment initiatives. Her focus was on the First-Year Writing Program and composition pedagogy research. Dr. Taggart’s leadership with the National Science Foundation-funded Gateways-ND teacher training project, General Education improvement at NDSU, and the Office of Teaching and Learning embodied her professional passion of improving the education of university students by working with students, faculty, and instructional staff. She was successful in improving student learning through actively engaged pedagogy and robust assessment. Her understanding, grace, and guidance contributed to making NDSU a wonderful, welcoming place to involve students in learning.
Award-winning departments will receive $1,000 to use for professional development.
Nominations are due March 1 and can be emailed to Jill Motschenbacher.
Academic program faculty and staff can nominate their own program or the program may be nominated by a colleague(s) or student(s). Please limit award applications to four pages, composed of one cover page and three additional pages describing how the program 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 program name, department name, contact person, email address, and phone number for the nominated department and, if applicable, the name, department, email, and phone number of the individual(s) nominating the program.
The Amy Rupiper Taggart Award for Excellence in Program Assessment applicant must demonstrate that the program has met the following attributes about assessment protocol:
- Clearly identifies program goals and objectives and/or outcomes,
- Shows evidence of assessment linked to those goals, objectives, and/or outcomes,
- Involves a wide range of departmental faculty/staff,
- The program and related assessments have evolved over time,
- Documents changes that improve the program,
- Adheres to the accreditation standards for the department/program,
- Uses best practices of assessment,
- Effectively collects data, and
- Evaluates the assessment protocol to make changes over time.
The Assessment Awards Committee will meet to assess and evaluate submissions. Recipient departments will be announced on or before April 14, annually. Contact Jill Motschenbacher, Office of Teaching and Learning, with questions.
The Department of Communication – Undergraduate Programs has been chosen as a recipient for the 2019 Amy Rupiper Taggart Award for Excellence in Program Assessment.
The Assessment Award Committee chose the Department of Communication's Undergraduate Program cluster as the award recipient based on their persistence in implementing a holistic model for program-wide assessment, commitment to continued improvement in assessment techniques through internal and external validation, and the expert execution of the program-level curriculum mapping initiative. The Department of Communication has demonstrated a well-developed assessment model for their undergraduate programs that is sustainable and adaptable to other programs of study.
Their application particularly stood out to the Committee because of the faculty’s passionate involvement in developing well-versed and informed undergraduate students. Providing continuous evaluation and verification of student learning, thinking, and communication enables students to develop and practice critical thinking skills and become productive citizens of society.
Dr. Stephenson Beck, department chair, reflected on the award stating, "This is truly a wonderful award to receive, as it showcases our efforts to improve the connection between our teaching and student learning. Of course this is a never-ending process, but it is nice to receive confirmation, through this award, that we are moving in the right direction."
Award name was changed in 2017, award was given under the name "2017 Excellence in Program Assessment Award". This year there are two winners of the 2017 Award for Excellence in Program Assessment.
2018 - No award given.
2017 - NDSU's Writing Program was selected based on their holistic model for program-wide writing assessment, instructional faculty and staff development, and documented evidence of student and pedagogical improvement over time. To the Committee, this creates a well-developed assessment model that is sustainable and adaptable to other programs of study.
2017 - NDSU's Teacher Education Unit was selected based on their holistic model for program-wide assessment, commitment to continued improvement in assessment techniques through validation and reliability studies, and the use of technology to improve the response rate and timeliness of assessment feedback. Their application particularly stood out to the Committee because of the assessment practices that extend beyond the classroom. Being able to assess students and Teacher Education Program graduates in live instructional settings and/or work environments is key in demonstrating the ultimate success of an educational program.