See ProfHacker tlt.gs/6kb4 & FridayLive! tlt.gs/AAA2010
I appreciate the clarity and directness of Utell's good suggestions and the candid description of the goals on which they're based in "How to Study Your Own Teaching (And Why You Might Want To)" July 21, 2011, 8:00 am, in "Prof. Hacker" guest post by Janine Utell, Widener U, Twitter: @janineutell http://tlt.gs/6kb4
Sadly, those are not common characteristics of campus discussions of assessment.
How, if at all, might this kind of " small qualitative study of your teaching, perhaps for presentation or publication but mainly just to see if it works, when you have limited, time, resources, and not very much experience" fit into institutional assessment activities? For many years I've been waiting for open, constructive, mutually respectful discussions about assessment. Instead, when someone announces an assessment initiative, I still usually hear these hostile mutterings :
"What's the least I can do to get them off my back so I can keep doing what really works?"
a. Faculty mutter something like "what's the least I can do to get them [administrators] off my back so I can keep doing what really works in my courses?"
b. Administrators mutter something like "how can I get the data we need to get them [accreditors, legislators, media, board, ...] off my back so I can keep doing what really works and make tough decisions about staffing and programs?"
For the beginnings of a constructive exploration, see Airing Assessment Attitudes - Safely, Usefully - Homebase Web page for onine session.
Photo of "Woman Hanging Laundry - Alfuraba Fishing Village - Porto, Portugal" near seaside, by Adam Jones, Some rights reserved by Adam Jones, Ph.D.