Click here to view the APPS webinar, “Challenges of Assessing Engagement Programs in Music,” which took place on April 11. After watching, please take a moment to participate in a survey to help us improve future webinars.
Assessing the Practices of Public Scholarship (APPS) promotes and develops what we call an integrated approach to assessment. Assessment that integrates questions about community impact into the design of the project and partnership is needed to address histories of university-community engagement that have fallen short of reciprocity. Such assessment emphasizes consideration of community impact and involves community stakeholders as well as higher education partners in collaborative and meaningful ways. It also invites evaluation of the institution’s own practices, contributions, and outcomes in relation to mutually defined goals.
An integrated approach to assessment is rooted in five core values—collaboration, reciprocity, generativity, rigor, and practicability. Approached this way, assessment contributes to both transformative outcomes (e.g., improved campus-community partnerships, impact in relation to defined civic, social, and academic goals) and, just as significantly, to transformational processes. An integrated approach to assessment provides a way to understand the impacts of engagement on multiple stakeholders, and a concrete framework in which to work together to democratically address the structural obstacles to more equitable and beneficial partnerships. Adopting an integrated assessment framework and approach ultimately advances the reciprocal benefits of publicly engaged scholarship and practice, and thereby strengthens the public role and democratic purpose of humanities, arts, and design.
IA’s assessment research currently focuses at the scale of courses and projects, programs, departments, and centers. This research builds on the 2007-2009 research into curricular models through The Curriculum Project and commissioned essays. In 2010, IA board members Sylvia Gale and Pam Korza and others iteratively developed the integrated assessment concept and guiding principles with feedback from the IA consortium. The initiative has benefited from the participation of John Saltmarsh, director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.