Why do Assessment?
Assessment can help you find the answers.
Although assessment is becoming a mandate for many universities in general, and for CSUN's colleges and departments, there are other reasons to embrace it.
Think about the following:
- What do you want students to know, or be able to do, when they finish your course?
- How do you know if your students achieve those learning outcomes?
The documented results of an assessment can:
- verify that student performance matches expectations and standards
- explain why student performance doesn't match expectations or standards
- identify how student performance might be improved
The goal of assessment is improved student learning, and the data we gather can play a critical role in improving curricular programs:
Assessment is the systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development (Palomba & Banta, 1999.)
[1Palomba, C.A. & Banta, T.W.(1999). Assessment Essentials: Planning, Implementing, and Improving Assessment in Higher Education, Jossey-Bass:San Francisco.]
Assessment encourages instructors and institutions to be reflective about their courses and accountable to students. Over time, this leads to improved educational effectiveness. To effectively conduct an assessment, you must make your expectations and standards clear - both to you and your students. Then you can accurately analyze and interpret how well your students meet those standards.
"Assessment requires making expectations and standards for quality explicit and public; systematically gathering evidence on how well performance matches those expectations and standards; analyzing and interpreting the evidence; and using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance" (Thomas A. Angelo, AAHE Bulletin, April 1995, p.11).