What is Assessment?
"Assessment of Student Learning is a participatory, iterative process that produces evidence that students are learning the outcomes you intended, guides you in making educational and institutional improvements, and evaluates whether changes made improve and impact student learning." Higher Learning Commission, 2006
"Assessment is the intense investigation of whether our students are learning what we are teaching." Trusteeship, 2007
Statement of Philosophy on the Assessment of Student Learning
Promoting student learning is at the heart of every assessment initiative. Student learning is the common goal that drives every department and program.
Assessment has the potential to promote an atmosphere of learning, cultural diversity, and curricular innovation.
Assessment of student learning can build bridges between academic and student affairs, and between academic support programs and departments.
Assessment results will be used to initiate or build service and academic programs and not for any punitive actions.
Assessment Myths Refuted
As most of you know, Assessment activities are required for each unit on campus. As many of you have discovered, Assessment can actually be an interesting and rewarding process.
Sure, it’s one more requirement in a world of requirements, but it is largely self-guided, meaning that YOU can set goals for your unit and even GET FUNDED to carry them out (i.e.: mini-grants for departmental retreats).
If you’d like some help in developing your unit’s objectives, give us a call. We’re glad to help. We’ll even give you money if you present a really good idea.
Just keep in mind, the next round of reports will be due in January, 2012. Departments and units should begin preparing a plan early on in the semester so they have a month or two to reflect on their goals and revise programs where needed. Don’t put it off; you could be denying yourself and your students or fellow staffers an opportunity to be engaged in something altogether new and exciting.