Performance indicators are measurements of specific elements of broad constructs. The Foundations of Excellence Performance Indicators (PIs) are exactly what the name implies–indicators of the level of achievement of specific aspects of each of the nine Foundational Dimensions®. We use performance indicators because it would be difficult and inefficient to measure every possible component of each Dimension. The areas covered by the performance indicators were selected because of their general level of importance in a high quality first college year and because the performance on these specific tasks is likely representative of performance across the broader construct.
Each task force will use a combination of local campus knowledge, professional judgment, local campus data (qualitative and quantitative), and externally benchmarked forms of evidence to reach a conclusion about the campus’s level of achievement of each performance indicator. Because the data rarely align neatly, task force conversations about how and why the evidence varies are a crucial component of the evaluation process. The Gardner Institute’s process relies on local campus knowledge and professional judgments to both evaluate the campus’s level of achievement and to develop a summary of evidence that substantiates the conclusion reached. It is not enough for the task force to simply form a judgment; they must show how they reached the conclusion and selected the forms of evidence used in the process. Below are examples of two Foundations of Excellence Performance Indicators.
LEARNING DIMENSION: Refer to the Current Practices Inventory to identify the five courses* with the highest enrollment of first-year students. To what degree does each of these courses include engaging pedagogies**. . .
Summary Evidence. Please explain the Task Force’s judgment and provide applicable examples.
Improvement Plan. Please provide the task force’s initial findings about the need for future action(s) regarding this performance indicator.
* “Courses” would include all sections of a particular numbered course
** Engaging pedagogies are those classroom strategies that facilitate more active and involved learning. These can include all forms of classroom interaction, group discussion, collaborative group learning, group projects, experiential activities, writing, experimenting, speaking, and even intentional classroom seating arrangements
FACULTY DIMENSION: To what degree do senior campus administrators* encourage out-of-class interaction between faculty and first-year students…
Summary Evidence. Please provide evidence to support the task force’s judgment.
Improvement Plan. Please provide the task force’s recommendations for future actions which would continue or improve campus performance on these performance indicators.
* Senior campus administrators include the chief executive (president, chancellor) and/or the chief academic officer provost, vice president for academic affairs, dean of instruction).