Assessment in Higher Education Conference Exceeds Expectations | New England College
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Assessment in Higher Education Conference Exceeds Expectations

New Event Draws Hundreds From Over 55 Institutions.

Keynote Speaker Marilee Bresciani Ludvik, PhD

Keynote Speaker Marilee Bresciani Ludvik, PhD

On Wednesday New England College hosted an Assessment in Higher Education Conference and welcomed 2-3 times the typical amount of attendees than other conferences in this field. More than 250 faculty members, academic administrators, institutional research and academic affairs staff, and others in higher education participated in the new event to be part of the growing study of assessment.

“It’s great to have so many people interested in assessment,” said Dr. Gavin Henning, chair of the conference and Director of New England College’s Doctorate of Education Program. Dr. Henning and a cross-functional team at New England College started preparing for the event in December and began promoting it in early February.  Steadily the team saw interest in the event grow and eventually were faced with either closing registration early or making adjustments to accommodate the demand.  “We wanted the experience to be high quality,” reflects Dr. Henning, “so we added rooms and took the opportunity to include even more breadth to the program.” 

Employees from 59 different institutions attended the event, traveling from as far away as the University of South Florida and from as close by as Dartmouth College.

“I really like the variety of content that’s being offered,” said Griffin Labbance from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. “Regardless of how much time you have in higher ed, there is plenty here to learn from.”  The day-long conference included two keynote presentations, three time slots offering five concurrent seminars (see topic details below), and round table sessions led by various experts in the assessment field. 

Dr. Marilee Bresciani Ludvik from San Diego State University and keynote speaker on “What Does Neuroscience Have to Do with Assessing Learning and Development?” commented on the new event’s popularity.  “More and more professionals in higher education are discovering significant value in this topic.  Although regional conferences like this typically draw 75-100 participants, there was obviously an eager audience ready in New England.  It was fabulous to be part of such an engaged group.”

The conference drew attendees primarily from the New England region, including members from community colleges, Boston University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Berklee College for Music, Quinnipiac University, Stonehill College, and the Universities of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The event was hosted at New England College and sponsored by Campus Labs, New England College Personnel Association, Region 1 of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and Stylus Publications.

Seminar Topics Included

  • Assessment Isn’t Rocket Science
  • How Can We Use Neuroscience to Foster Learning?
  • Success Metrics and Key Performance Indicators: Where to Start?
  • Implementing A Student Affairs Assessment Plan Through On-Going Professional Development
  • Assessment Encompasses Experiential Education Components for Students: Engagement, Intentionality, Conceptuality, and Ownership
  • Reporting and Sharing Assessment Results
  • Assessing Classroom Learning
  • Implementing a Departmental Self-Study
  • Assessing Online Learning
  • Assessing Program and Services Outside the Classroom
  • Building a Culture of Assessment
  • Collaborative Assessment Across Departments
  • Classroom Assessment Boosts Student Learning
  • Training Attention and Awareness: A Case Study
  • A Case Study in the Assessment of Contract Management
  • Departmental Self-Assessment: One Department’s Efforts, Challenges and Progress
  • Connecting the Curricular and Co-Curricular: Assessment Methods in and Outside of the Classroom

For information related to the conference’s speakers and seminars, please visit