Report Writing

I am going to try something new and blog during the SKiP call. I’m not sure if this level of multi-tasking is a good idea for me or not, but I’m willing to give it a try! Today we are meeting together to talk about the process of writing the annual accreditation reports for NAEYC/ECADA. I hope it will be a useful chat session. I have been thinking all morning about this time of year and how difficult it can be to manage all of the deadlines that seem to converge during the spring semester. I know that some folks write their annual reports in the fall and I’m sure that is a very busy time too. In my life, spring is when everything seems to be due – grant reports, budgets, schedules, etc. All projects that have been going on for the academic year must come to some kind of close and there is a saying on my campus that if it doesn’t get done in April, it won’t get done until the fall semester. Maybe that is why there is so much pressure – we need to complete things before we adjourn for the summer session.

Luckily, the annual accreditation report is not that bad..really. I have found that as long as we are collecting assessment data as we should, writing the report is fairly easy. The only trick is making sure that I have enough time to do a good job with the writing process.

Today, we are meeting and there are about 7 people on the call representing several different states including North Carolina, Illinois, Michigan, and Alaska. There is a wide range in terms of the programs represented and their schedule for self-study and annual report writing. Some of us on the call have been writing annual reports for several years and some folks are really just starting the self-study process. It is interesting to have a discussion across this range of experience with the ECADA process.

Kathy Allen is facilitating the call and she is anchoring the discussion to the Accreditation Handbook, which is located in the ICOHERE online community for ECADA participants. This is really helpful as it makes the report seem very “doable”.

There is a specific question about the timeline for transitioning to the revised standards. Kathy has directed folks to the timeline listed on the NAEYC website “Transition to New NAEYC Standards“. Please take a look at this for your reference.

We are now discussing the question of collecting data and thinking about how to interpret different results coming from two different sections of a course. In this case, one section is offered online and the other is offered in a face-to-face format. One wonders if the format contributes to the different data or if it has more to do with inter-rater reliability in terms of instructors using the rubric differently. This is an opportunity for collaboration among faculty. What is the learning opportunity for students to be able to demonstrate this outcome? How much is this activity weighted? Will that weight influence students and their motivation to do their best work on that particular activity? Good questions to think about!

We are now starting to talk about various issues such as when a student fails a course or drops a course – does the data from his/her work still “count”. In other words, is that data included in the annual report? Most folks on the call suggested that the way the data are collected, all data are used in the report. Does this skew the data in any way?

The final note we ended on was a reminder that the self-study and ongoing accreditation process is a strengths-based process. This is important for all of us to remember.

Kathy shared “Examples of data we have collected over the years“, which is a terrific document as it gives us a good example to look at in terms of how one can report on key assessment data.

It was fun to hear various voices on the call and I think the discussion was helpful to all who participated. I look forward to tomorrow’s call!

I hope you can join us!


2 Responses to “Report Writing”

  1. 1 Marcia Rysztak March 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    I appreciate how you write in a “reflective” way, leaving us with questions to think about and decide what is best for our program.
    It is good to have a forum to raise some of the questions many of us have been pondering and get other’s perspectives. Always helps to make our work richer.

  2. 2 cnepstad March 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks Marcia – it was very nice to talk with you again!

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