Assessment Reports:
Criteria for Evaluation

  • Student learning outcomes are identified and are appropriate for the program
  • Statements of learning outcomes provide specific information about what students will be able to demonstrate or do as a result of instruction; circular statements are avoided (e.g., students should know the things that are important for students to know in this field)
  • Program outcomes in addition to student learning outcomes are stated, e.g., student satisfaction or engagement, student job placement, or other aspects of program success
  • At least two student learning outcomes are identified, preferably drawn from a fully worked out plan for what students will achieve in the program
  • Assessments were planned and conducted for at least two student learning outcomes and one additional program outcome
  • Direct methods of assessment are used to identify the extent to which students are meeting expected learning outcomes—actual student work (assignments, portfolios, performances, projects, tests, etc.) has been examined methodically, using rubrics, scoring guides, tests or other appropriate method for discerning patterns of strength and weakness across students in the program
  • More than one method of assessment is used to measure at least one expected outcome, especially broad or comprehensive outcomes, e.g., effective communication or critical thinking
  • Assessment methods are selected to yield actionable information—results that are likely to help faculty identify what students are learning well and what requires more attention
  • Assessment methods are valid, reflecting clearly the outcomes being assessed
  • Assessment methods are described in detail; descriptions include the time period when assessment took place, number of students who participated, and a concise, clear description of the assessment instrument or method
  • Pass rates and grade distributions are not used as assessment methods for student learning outcomes
  • Findings are actionable and provide information about common or typical strengths and weaknesses of students in attaining expected outcomes
  • Findings are not limited to one number or to holistic score distributions for all students, such as the following:
    • 95% of students were satisfied with their educational program.
    • 80% of students received grades of an “A” or a “B.”
    • 15 students received an excellent score; 4 students received a good score; 3 students received a satisfactory score; and 2 students received an unsatisfactory score
  • Instead, findings highlight patterns of relative strength and weakness revealed by the assessment method, such as the following:
    • While three-fourths of student essays evaluated received scores of “good” for their ability to identify appropriate reference sources, fewer than one student in five received a score of “good” for their ability to integrate quotations from those sources in their own arguments
    • Another example appears in the table below:
      Topic Non-Proficient Proficient Highly Proficient
      Develop Literature Review
      Theoretical Understanding
      Critical Thinking/Analysis
      Conceptual Integration
      Mastery of Substantive Area
      (Sociology, BA, 2012 Assessment Report)
  • Improvements are clearly linked to findings (in some instances, changes in assessment methods could be an appropriate improvement, if the previous assessment method did not yield actionable results)
  • The description of improvements does not refer to assessment methods or findings that are not previously described in the assessment of an outcome
  • Improvements reflect something that has been done in response to assessment findings, e.g.:
    • The learning outcome consistently scoring the lowest is: Organize LEED Green Building activities. A new one credit hour class called Introduction to Sustainable Construction was introduced into the program in Fall 2012 (Building Science, BS, 2012 Assessment Report)
  • “Continue to monitor” is not an improvement

Last Updated: 08/05/2014

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