David Jordan

How those assessments improve quality

David Jordan can claim to know more about Emory's goals and achievements than just about anyone on campus. That's because, as director of Institutional Effectiveness, Jordan oversees the review of annual assessment reports from every academic program and administrative unit at Emory.

Emory uses assessment data for a variety of purposes, including planning, federal reporting, and accreditation requirements.

"One of the ways to insure that we offer the best academic programs is through annual assessment," Jordan says. "That's why Emory faculty and staff carefully measure student learning and engagement every year."

Before coming to Emory, Jordan taught English composition and literature and regularly assessed his students at both the course and program level. Since then, he has helped hundreds of faculty members and administrators design assessment strategies and put together reports, both at Emory and the University of Georgia, where he also worked on the assessment and accreditation team.

"If you want to learn about the nuts and bolts of a university, one place to start is with the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness (OIRPE). We collect data from every unit on campus, evaluate it, and then communicate the findings," he says.

One of Jordan's goals is to continue streamlining the assessment process, making it more efficient and effective. For example, this year OIRPE has helped many administrative units reorganize their reporting procedures, eliminating duplication and reducing the overall volume of reports by 20 percent.

Judy Raggi-Moore, director of the Italian Studies program, acknowledges that making an annual assessment is time consuming. Still, she has embraced the mandate. Why? "It has transformed how we talk about teaching in Italian," she says.