I'm about to head off to a meeting which, based on the agenda distributed, looks like it will be a bit of talking, more talking, and no decisions needing to be made. I hate these sorts of meetings generally, but I will go to this one because it's in the job description.
We've been working on assessment stuffs, mostly on doing stuff that says we'll assess our courses in this given way for these given assessment points, which all include at least three subpoints.
I've spent probably a couple hours on this for the class I was supposed to do (and did). If everyone in my department spent just about two hours on theirs (we pretty much all had a class to do), then we've wasted two weeks of work.
Wasted? I'm sure the latest assessment guru would tell us that this is vital work, and that it's all important for making sure that we teach what we've decided is worth teaching, and that our students learn what we've decided is worth learning. And by the way, there's that ever present threat that if we don't do it to ourselves, "they" will do it to us.
And in three years more, having done these and many more, having filled out assessment bubble things, and written reports, all of which will show that our students aren't learning as much as we think they should, but some of them are, and some not at all, the assessment guru will tell us that no, we've been doing it wrong, and now there's some cool new way to do assessment, so we should start over again. And it will be treated as practically an emergency situation, so we all need to do that new thing lickety split.
And then we'll need a new assistant to the recently hired assessment guru, because there will be ever more work to do in assessment.
One of my colleagues and I were chatting today, and she expressed her frustration at the constant near-emergency attitude from the administration, and at the ways that this assessment work takes time away from other work we need/want to do, work such as, you know, teaching, prepping classes, designing courses, and so forth.