Community Engagement Professionals at Play: Collaborative Assessment as Culture Change

Sylvia Gale, Terry Dolson, Amy L. Howard


This article describes the data lab, an assessment method that could, the authors argue, help community engagement professionals (CEPs) align their assessment efforts with commitments and capacities named in the community engagement professionals competency model, contributing to democratic engagement and helping to resist neoliberal pressures in higher education. The data lab method employs a playful approach to making sense of data, utilizing extended and applied metaphors and involving all stakeholders in community-engaged work in collaborative meaning-making. Through the ongoing and iterative practice of data labs, stakeholders are invited to better understand and make changes to their collective work in implementing more democratic practices in the institution.

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