Lynn University: Sustainable Assessment Across the University



Lynn University was founded in 1962 as Marymount College, a two-year junior college for women. The College became co-ed in 1971 and changed its name to the College of Boca Raton in 1974. In 1982, the College expanded its offerings to include Bachelor’s degrees, and in 1985 the first Master’s degree was in place. Based upon the institution’s goal of expanding its focus nationally and internationally, the Board made the decision to attain university status and in September 1991, was renamed Lynn University to honor its benefactors, the Lynn

The first Ph.D. program was offered in 1998. Today the University offers nearly 40 undergraduate degrees and approximately 25 graduate degrees through its six colleges. Students from over 90 countries and nearly all 50 US states attend Lynn University. Lynn University is accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools, and with more than 2,500 students, all programs at the university use LiveText.

Key Challenges
LiveText was originally selected as a portfolio system for the College of Education. The institution soon saw how the platforms assessment features could better serve the university as whole.

In 2010, LiveText was used for assessment in preparation for SACS re-accreditation. Since then, Lynn University has been developing and strengthening its culture of assessment with LiveText at the center. Every single degree, program, and major – which includes several courses with mandatory assessment rubrics on critical assignments – uses LiveText. Every row, in every rubric is also tied to one (or several) Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). And since the TurnItIn integration within LiveText, all written work in every class is submitted to LiveText with TurnItIn enabled.

In an effort to be transparent, faculty members gather for one week each fall before the beginning of the term analyzing previous LiveText assessment data and planning what to do differently in the upcoming year. The data is presented as rubric row-level data for course-level improvements, as well as data aggregated by SLOs for program-level improvements. Because of the valuable insights derived, and to better monitor student success, colleges are expanding the original set of assessment courses, rubrics, and assignments.

New faculty are trained in the use of LiveText. Every new update triggers training sessions for the entire faculty. All students are provided with a LiveText account when they come to Lynn through an automated process called Keycode Management. The LiveText team visits all the freshmen classes within the first week to demonstrate uploading papers, reading the TurnItIn reports, and viewing the completed assessment rubrics.

“At Lynn University, we see LiveText at the center of our assessment activities. LiveText allowed us to move away from an accreditation-time exercise to a fully integrated, and continuous, culture of assessment. Assessment is now a regular part of every academic program. We have and use rich data to inform our academic decision making process. It is how we do business,” said Mike Petroski, Director, Academic Assessment and Faculty Development.

“LiveText provides the essential data that allows for data-driven decision making throughout all of our academic programs. Our culture of assessment is allowing us to fully close the loop on our assessment process, not just in accreditation years, but every year. We are a much better, and more accountable, University,” said Mr. Petroski.