Method selection can not only impact the quality and usefulness of the data you are collecting, but can also impact the amount of buy-in you will receive from your assessment community on campus. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you are selecting a method:
1. Build up your assessment toolbox by getting experience with different methods and knowing when it is appropriate to use them.
2. Keep it simple! Assessment is “good enough” research. Choose a method that is manageable so you can complete the project.
3. Start with the ideal design for your assessment and then work backwards to what is possible. There is always more than one source for collecting data, use what works best for you knowing that you can add on other sources later.
4. Start off small to get experience; don’t try to complete a “dissertation” sized project the first time around.
5. Get feedback from colleagues, peers and your Campus Labs Baseline consultant. A new set of eyes on your methods may reveal an important piece that you have not seen.
6. Read the literature and attend conferences through a new lens; look for ideas on how others conduct assessment and how you may also use the same methods.
7. Ask if the data already exists somewhere else before choosing a different method that will use valuable resources.
8. Look for potential to collaborate with other divisions and units.
9. Include culturally sensitive language and facilitators when using assessment methods. If you are not sure about language, ask someone who will be to look over your assessment method.
10. Include stakeholders from the beginning; this builds credibility in your methods and assessment results.
11. Keep in mind how the method you choose will affect your results and take note of that for your report.
12. Reflect on the process/results of assessment and do not be afraid to change your method. Assessment is an ongoing process.