Making Your Data Work

Rob Johnstone & Priyadarshini Chaplot LACCD Achieving the Dream Retreat January 20, 2012

What we will cover
1.  Framing the issue 2.  What we learned from the BRIC Initiative, the

Aspen Prize, and Completion by Design
3.  Making the connection

Building Stronger Systems for SLOs and Program Review – September 2011

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WHO IS THE RP GROUP?

Putting our work in context

Building Stronger Systems for SLOs and Program Review – September 2011

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The RP Group
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Strengthens the abilities of California community colleges to gather, analyze and act on information in order to strengthen student success Provides research, evaluation, professional development, and technical assistance services that support evidence-based decision-making and inquiry Work is defined and conducted by community college practitioners

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A RESOURCE FOR INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE

A Culture of Inquiry

An Applied Inquiry Framework for Student Completion – September 2011

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What is a Culture of Inquiry?
Institutional capacity for supporting open, honest and collaborative dialog focused on

strengthening the institution and the outcomes of its
students.
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Culture of Inquiry: Why All the Fuss?
●  Because this ongoing work is challenging ●  ●  ●  ● 

but necessary! Work needs to marry insight & evidence Problems are large and recurring No silver bullet / evident answers Multiple solutions likely needed

●  Progress is not linear ●  Requires cross constituency interaction
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Culture of Inquiry: Features
●  Widespread sharing and easy access

to user-friendly information on student outcomes ●  Encouraging more people to ask a wider collection of questions and use their evidence and conclusions to enhance decision making ●  Shared, reflective and dynamic discussions
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Culture of Inquiry: More Features
●  Multiple opportunities to discuss

information within and across constituency groups ●  Continuous feedback so adjustments can be made along the way and processes can be adapted ●  Culture that values curiosity, questions and robust conversations

An Applied Inquiry Framework for Student Completion – September 2011

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THE IMPETUS FOR OUR WORK

Why does prioritizing a culture of inquiry make sense?

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You’re wasting time and money when your outcomes don’t focus on

the right data.

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20 year trend for institutional outcomes
100%

Retention Rate

90%

80%

70%

60%

Success Rate
What does that tell us about the usefulness of these metrics in setting institutional strategies?
1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%

1989

1990

1991

1992

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

1999

2008

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Much of what is needed to support good decision making is

beyond the traditional accountability measures.
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What is Our College’s Transfer Rate?

Data do not

for themselves.
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speak

The vital role of conversation
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In order to make data useful, ample time and space are needed to discuss and analyze the information and connect it back to the original research question. Answers are not always immediately apparent, so skilled facilitation may be needed to dig out the deeper meaning. Multiple perspectives and types of information are often needed to make sense of individual data points.
Building Stronger Systems for SLOs and Program Review – September 2011

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WHAT CAN WE DO?

What the RP Group has learned

Building Stronger Systems for SLOs and Program Review – September 2011

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BRIC’s on-campus support helps colleges improve internal practices.
•  Technical experts who are community college practitioners •  Focus on discrete practices such as program review •  Opportunities for dialog
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Strategy 1: Reform processes to make them

simpler and provide more useful information.
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age 2: While what colleges developed varied, each system was:
•  Meaningful •  Sustainable •  Consistent

For example …
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Comprehensive Assessment Report Examples
http://www.rpgroup.org/resources/comprehensiveassessment-reports-best-practice-examples-aroundcountry

Resource Compendium on Assessment
http://www.rpgroup.org/resources/assessment-strategiesand-models-help-tell-story

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Strategy 2: Create

space and time to talk

so good ideas can be put into action
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Get conversations going using inquiry guides.
•  Assessing Student Learning Outcomes •  Using an Equity Lens to Assess Student Learning •  Assessing Student Services Outcomes •  Maximizing the Program Review Process •  Assessing Non-credit Student Learning Outcomes

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Strategy 3: Make better use of existing processes;

don’t reinvent the wheel.
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Strategy 4: Pick your organizational improvement priorities

and stick to them.
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Strategy 5: To build lasting changes, ensure you involve a

broad range of leadership.
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WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU

How can you improve your accountability and success efforts?

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Brainstorm & Discuss
Pick one of the following questions to answer and pair up with someone to share your ideas.

•  •  •  •  • 

What process could we simplify at our college? How could we create more opportunities for conversations about our student outcomes? What is a process we could redesign to make it more useful? What should be my college’s top improvement priority? How could we build stronger and deeper support for improvement efforts?
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Making Your Data Work – November 2011

Find Out More
The RP Group Website www.rpgroup.org Rob Johnstone, Senior Research Fellow rjohnstone@rpgroup.org Bob Gabriner, Leadership Chair gabriner@sfsu.edu

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