Volunteer Core Assessment
To ensure that The University of Tennessee Volunteer Core program delivers intended outcomes, all courses approved for Volunteer Core must be assessed on a regular basis. This assessment will also be utilized for SACSCOC.
The process for the assessment is described in the following document: ASSESSMENT PROCESS FOR VOLUNTEER CORE COURSES
Each Volunteer Core Course will be evaluated for each category it belongs to (e.g., WC, OC, AOC, QR) once every three (3) years. All learning outcomes for the category must be assessed at this time.
Assessment years are as follows:
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
2023-2024 2024-2025 2025-2026
2026-2027 2027-2028 2028-2029
2029-2030 2030-2031 2031-2032
You can find the year (i.e., 1, 2, 3) of assessment for each Volunteer Core course at the link below:
Assessment Training and FAQs
Training on the Vol Core assessment process will take place at least once per semester. Upcoming dates will be posted here when they are scheduled.
Please see the PowerPoint for the Vol Core Assessment Process.
A recording of a training session can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Assessment
Click on the link for the Master List of Courses for Assessment above. The linked Google sheet shows all Volunteer Core classes and which year they are to be assessed.
Yes. Just email the Vol Core Assessment Subcommittee chair.
Yes. We would actually recommend doing all assessments for one course in one year
If a course with different category designations are in the Master List as being assessed in different years and you would like to do all assessments for the course in one year, just let us know.
A course might not show up in the master list depending on when it was proposed and approved. New courses are constantly being added. We will update the Master List one to two times per year – after we assign your year for assessment and you approve that year.
But please let us know if the class is not there so we can make sure it is on the update list.
The cycle starts in 2023-2024 (Year 1), with year 2 as 2024-2025, and year 3 as 2025-2026. Then then cycle starts over; Year 1 is 2026-2027 etc. This rotation is found on this page under Volunteer Core Assessment above.
Yes. We plan to send reminders for upcoming assessments in the fall before the next fall’s timetable is due, in late spring, and in early August. The reminders will be sent to the department head and the Volunteer Core Assessment coordinator in each department who may be the department chair or some other designee.
In the assessment document, Course Assessment Process, 2. Preparing for your assessment, A Description of the student work to be collected, bullet 2 states that “More than one learning outcome can be assessed by the same student work.” What if there are multiple assessments in a given Vol Core course designed to address the same learning outcomes? Should we fill out a new evaluation for each assessment?
If you use more than one piece of student work (more than one assignment), combine the results into one rating to be reported. We would recommend that you think about using one assignment for the assessment, however.
The student work will not be submitted with your assessment; only a description of the assignment and the number of students receiving each rating will be reported.
You should save the student work at least until your report has been reviewed by the Assessment Subcommittee (i.e. for about 2 semesters). You may need to keep it longer if you want to make changes to the assessment or if the benchmark is not met; in this case, TLI would need to see the student work to help you come up with an action plan.
As for recordings of OC and AOC presentations (or other presentations or performances done for other categories), if these are to be rated by more than the instructor of the course, then that rater is going to have to either come to your class or watch recordings. In those cases, I would definitely recommend recording the “assignment” and saving those recordings.
The ratings for objective questions are as follows:
1 = Ineffective: the individual student scores below 60% on selected questions.
2 = Adequate: the individual student scores between 60-74% on selected questions.
3 = Effective: the individual student scores between 75-89% on selected questions.
4 = Outstanding: the individual student scores 90% or above on selected questions.
The percentages are based on typical percentages for grades (below 0 = F, 60-74 = Ds and low Cs, etc).
For subjective questions, the rating follow rubrics that are found in Appendix B of the Vol Core Assessment document. These rating have the same names as above (i.e., 1=Ineffective, 2=Adequate, 3=Effective, 4=Outstanding).
Therefore, the benchmark is set so that at least 90% of your students would have a rating of Adequate or above; at least 90% of your students would pass the assignment (D or better).
You would meet with someone from TLI to talk about what might be improved to ensure that the LO is being met– spending more time on the topic, changing the explanation so it is more understandable by the students, giving more assignments for student comprehension, etc. The course will then be assessed again in the next year or two (depending on when the course is offered again).
Through Qualtrics surveys. There is one survey for each category. The links to these surveys are in Appendix A of the Volunteer Core Assessment Process document.
The reports are due as follows:
- Fall semester assessments are due in February
- Winter mini-term assessments are due in June
- Spring semester assessments are due in June
- May mini-term assessments are due in September
- Summer semester assessments are due in September