What is Outcomes Assessment?
Outcomes assessment is the systematic planning, collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development. Assessment involves setting explicit student learning goals or outcomes for an academic program, evaluating the extent to which students are reaching those goals, and using the information for continuous program development and improvement.
The purpose of assessment is to understand how academic programs are working and to determine how they are contributing to student achievement of program goals. Assessment is considered an important tool that facilitates discussion and provides useful information to faculty and administrators about program strengths and areas for improvement.
Areas of Assessment
Program Outcomes Assessment- evaluation of student achievement of expected outcomes in a major. The faculty should guide their program’s outcomes assessment process by defining program's intended learning outcomes, facilitating appropriate methods for evaluating student achievement of program goals, using the information to justify what’s working well in the program and identifying areas for program growth.
General Education Assessment– evaluation of student achievement of basic skills, competencies and general education learning goals. The purpose of assessment of general education is to evaluate student achievement of institutionally recognized competencies in general education.
Assessment of Student and Alumni Satisfaction (Surveys) – evaluation of student and alumni perceptions of their educational experiences including satisfaction with support services, academic curriculum, and readiness for careers and advanced studies. The surveys provide indirect measures for evaluating and improving academic programs and student services.
Resources for Faculty and Academic Administrators