Reporting Assessment Results to External Stakeholders
Assessment results tell a story about a program, its students, and their learning. Communicating assessment results to various external stakeholders can be a valuable and often necessary part of the assessment process. Yet, sharing assessment results with those unfamiliar with the day to day workings of an academic program can be challenging. Here are some tips and resources for effectively reporting assessment results to external stakeholders.
- Include only the most essential information. The more concise the report, the more likely a stakeholder who skims the report will receive the most pertinent information. Keep conclusions short and rank your recommendations in order of importance.
- Make the report thorough, but as non-technical as possible. Consider not only the direct recipient of the report by also those to whom it may be passed along. When using technical terms, define them or include a glossary.
- Use results that lay readers can understand and provide key program context. Provide a clear interpretation of numbers, scores, and percentages. Consider and address likely misinterpretations of the results.
- Avoid over-generalization. Be careful about the extent to which you interpret results subjectively. Provide stakeholders with several different potential interpretations of results an encourage the stakeholder to weigh each possibility.
- The Online Evaluation Resource Library (OERL) provides a comprehensive template for reporting to stakeholders with recommendations for each section.