Frequently Asked Questions
What is Assessment?
Assessment is a program required by the Commonwealth of Virginia and most other states, as well as regional accrediting bodies, to evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs and support services at all colleges and universities. In Virginia, each college or university may design its own assessment program, although each is required to assess the general education program, each major program, and achievement among alumni. At Old Dominion University, we survey all entering freshmen, graduating seniors and graduate students to evaluate the learning that has occurred, along with students' satisfaction with our programs. We also survey alumni up to 3 years after graduation. Assessment does NOT evaluate individual students, faculty, or classes. In order to respect the dignity of all individuals, responses will be kept strictly confidential, and only group data will be reported.
Why do we have Assessment?
The goal of the Old Dominion University Assessment Program is to improve student learning and enhance the educational experience at the University. In order to do that, we need information from all entering first year (freshmen) and transfer students as well as graduating seniors and graduate students to determine what skills and knowledge you brought to the University and what additional skills and knowledge you acquired during your education. We are also interested in your satisfaction with various aspects of the University as you prepare to graduate.
Who is required to participate in Assessment?
While all entering first year (freshmen), transfer, graduating senior, and graduate students are required to participate in assessment, we hope you will look upon your participation as a responsibility and an opportunity.
- Entering first year (freshmen) students must complete the First Year (Freshman) Assessment, which consists of the Transition to College Inventory (TCI), typically completed during summer orientation, and the First Year (Freshman) Biographical Questionnaire (FBioQ) during the initial, first year (freshman) semester in order to be allowed to register for courses for the next semester. First Year (freshmen) students will be sent an invitation, via your ODU e-mail address, to complete the FBioQ on the Web approximately three weeks into your first semester of courses.
- Entering, first-time, undergraduate transfer students must complete the Transfer Assessment, which includes the Transfer Student Survey (TSS) and the Transfer Biographical Questionnaire (TBioQ) during the initial semester at ODU in order to be allowed to register for courses for the next semester. Transfer students will be sent an invitation, via your ODU e-mail address, to complete the TSS on the Web approximately three weeks into your first semester of courses. Upon completing the TSS, you will receive a confirmation e-mail that includes the invitation to complete the TBioQ.
- Graduating seniors are required to take the Senior Assessment during the final semester prior to graduation in order to be able to receive transcripts and diploma. All graduating seniors must have applied for graduation and received confirmation from the University Registrar's Office before you will be sent an invitation, via your ODU e-mail address, to complete the survey.
- Graduate Students are required to take the Graduate Student Assessment during the semester in which you complete your graduate degree in order to be able to receive transcripts and diploma. All graduate students must have applied for graduation and received confirmation from the University Registrar's Office before you will be sent an invitation, via your ODU e-mail address, to complete the survey.
What is involved in Assessment?
Assessment involves responding to surveys and other instruments that have been put on the Web. There are separate assessments for first year (freshmen), transfer, senior, and graduate students. There are separate assessments for seniors taking courses on campus and seniors who have completed the majority of their program via one of our distance education programs. In addition, please note that there are two assessment surveys required of each first-year (freshman) and transfer student.
How do I do Assessment? When? Where?
Once you have been added to the list of eligible first year (freshmen), transfer, senior, or graduate students, you will receive a personal, e-mail, invitation to take the appropriate survey. Please refer to the specific assessment web page for information on when you will receive the e-mail invitation. Because this is a web-based assessment program, there are some minimum system requirements for successfully completing your assessment in this manner. Once you are ready, click on the appropriate link on the left under Student Assessments.
What are the minimum system requirements?
- Windows 2000, or newer
- Internet connection
- Internet Explorer 6.0+ or Firefox 2.0+
Why am I having trouble accessing the surveys?
Please be sure to check the minimum system requirements. If you do not have the required computer at home, there should be ample computer resources on your campus with which to complete your assessment surveys. Contact University Assessment at email@example.com or call (757) 683-3322. Distance Learning seniors may find it more convenient to check with your Site Director first.
I completed First Year (Freshman) Assessment. Why is there still a hold on my registration?
After you complete the First Year (Freshman) Assessment, it takes about a day for the registration hold to be removed. Normally, the hold will be removed by noon of the following business day after you complete the assessment. If this does not occur, contact University Assessment at firstname.lastname@example.org or (757) 683-3322.