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 Assessment of Student Learning

Characteristics of a Good Department/Unit Assessment Plan


  • The plan flows from the mission statement.
  • The focus on on the major (i.e., degree program) as a whole rather than on individual courses.
  • The number of critical learning objectives is small.
  • The assessment plan is a product of input and discussion by the entire department/unit (faculty and students)
  • The plan is integrated into the curriculum or services provided.
  • The plan is ongoing rather than periodic.
  • The plan is manageable.
  • The plan uses multiple measures, both qualitative & quantitative and direct  indirect measures.
  • Students understand their role in assessment (how it will be used and how it can help them).
  • The results of assessment activities are used by faculty/units to improve; they are seen as a means rather than an end.

How an effective assessment program benefits the department/unit

  • Faculty/units become more clear about student learning objectives for their program/area.  Thus, they can each or provide services more effectively.
  • The rationale for curriculum design/coure sequencing is more clear so advising and teaching are improved.
  • Faculty/units are able to show evidence to students, parents, colleagues, and other outside constitutents about what students are actually learning

How an effective assessment program improves student learning

  • Students learn better when we and they are clear about what they are expected to learn (i.e., student learning outcomes for the degree program, each course, each service).
  • Students learn better when they receive frequent, specific feedback about their work or skills acquired (e.g., rubrics, classroom assessment techniques, successfully finding educational resources).
  • Faculty/units know more about student learning and can direct their teaching or service efforts accordingly.

Source:  Concordia College; Ball State University; Higher Learning Commission (NCA)

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Last modified on 06/08/12 09:08 AM
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