Why Do Assessment?

A well-designed assessment process will include the following activities:

  1. Define learning goals and objectives
  2. Align curriculum with goals
  3. Identify instruments and measures
  4. Collect, analyze and disseminate assessment data
  5. Use assessment data for continuous improvement

When designing an assessment process to evaluate student learning, the following questions must be addressed:

  • What will our students learn in our program?
  • What are our expectations?
  • How will they learn it?
  • How will we know they have learned it? (evidence)
  • What will we do if they haven’t learned it?

Levels of Assessment

There are several levels of assessment that apply both to classroom and online learning:

Monitoring course inputs and outputs to measure effectiveness and student satisfaction

Evaluating an academic program for clientele approval, effectiveness and endorsement by regulatory agencies

Comparing where an institution says it is going to at a particular point in time to where it actually gets to The links in this section describe when and how to conduct these different levels of assessment.

Characteristics of Effective Assessment

In general, effective assessment programs are part of a larger curriculum management process. The focus of assessment should be the continual improvement of student learning.

Effective Assessment:

  • Is mission driven
  • Faculty owned
  • Addresses all key learning objectives
  • Includes multiple methods, including some direct measures (observations) of student learning
  • Has adequate support
  • Leads to improved student learning.