Assessment of Learning
Each academic program must develop and maintain an Assessment Plan, which documents the outcomes and measures focused on for continuous improvement.
- Accredited programs may submit their most recent self-study and any mid-cycle reports in lieu of using the template below, as long as the self-study reports annual assessment results and strategies for improvement of student learning.
- Non-accredited programs use the outcomes and measures portion of the Assessment of Learning Report Template (MS Word) to document the Assessment Plan. The Assessment Plan includes:
Student Learning Outcomes (SLO): Two SLOs are required. SLOs define what students will know or be able to do upon completion of the program.
For continuous improvement, select knowledge or skill areas with which students struggle (a need for improvement). Focus on one knowledge/skill area per outcome. Use clear, concise language and action verbs (see Bloom’s Taxonomy). Learning outcomes should align with the expected level of rigor for the course and degree.
Two measures are required for each SLO, with at least one measure being direct (i.e., rubric items, exam items, internship evaluation items, etc.). The other measure may be indirect, such a self-assessment or exit survey.
Student Success Outcome (SSO): One Student Success Outcome is required, with a choice of focus on graduation rate, retention rate, time-to-completion, or recruitment. Two measures are required for the SSO.
If possible, the first measure should be a direct measure of the SSO. For the AY 2021 report, only undergraduate programs are expected to report data for this outcome because they will be provided the First-time Full-Time Retention and Graduation report for their program (click link for Glossary of Terms).
This report is not available for graduate or certificate programs, so reporting on the SSO is optional for AY 2021. However, for the AY 2022 report, these programs should attempt to use internal tracking or other Institutional Research data as the first measure (send data requests to email@example.com).
For the AY 2022 report, a second SSO measure will be required for all programs. The second measure may be a student or alumni survey, focus group, or other measure that provides insight into issues related to student success for your program. Please identify this measure and list it in the AY 2021 report.
Review this checklist to ensure all criteria are met for Assessment Plan approval.
For new or modified programs submitting a Curriculog proposal, please follow the process described here.
Changes to exisiting Assessment Plans: If your program is modifying the outcomes and/or measures for AY 2022 and beyond, you may use this AY 2022 template to get started. When you have a draft completed, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org for review and feedback. Please ensure you and your faculty team are ready to collect data during the Spring 2022 semester at the latest.
Assessment of Learning Report - Template & Instructions
Each fall, academic programs provide a report of their assessment results and continuous improvement activities for the previous academic year. This report serves as evidence of assessment and continuous improvement for KSU's SACSCOC accreditation (Standard 8.2).
What needs to be submitted?
Accredited programs may submit their most recent self-study and any mid-cycle reports in lieu of using the report template above, as long as the self-study reports annual assessment results and strategies for improvement of student learning. This submission needs to be done every fall to ensure we have the most recent self-study and any mid-cycle report in our system.
Non-accredited programs submit the report using the Assessment of Learning Report template (MS Word) template. See further instructions below.
My program is not accredited. Where do I start in writing the report?
TEMPLATE: Click here to download the AY 2021 Assessment of Learning Report template.
Download important "START HERE" instructions for program coordinators submitting the AY 2021 Assessment of Learning Report, which is due on October 15, 2021. Information about virtual workshops and consultations can be found here; dates and times will also be announced in KSU Today.
What is reported annually?
- Summary of analyses and results for each measure, including the big take-aways from the results.
- Consider using a table to report rubric results in a granular fashion (by rubric criterion) so that the specific areas where students are struggling can be identified.
- For exams, conducting an item analysis will help determine the specific exam items with which students struggle the most. If using D2L to adminsiter the exam, you can generate an item analysis in D2L. See the "Introduction to D2L Learning Analytics Microlearning" below for more information.
- Examples of formative assessment that have occurred within the program.
- An update on progress toward strategies for improvement previously identified.
What is reported every three years?
The Cohort Schedule and Cohort List indicates when the Full Report Addendum is due. The Full Report Addendum includes:
- Interpretation of results and trends over the previous 3-year assessment period,
- Improvements verified with multiple years of data, and
- Specific strategies for improvement to be implemented during the next 3-year assessment period.
See the Cohort Schedule and Cohort List section below to determine your program's cohort and when the next Full Report Addendum is due.
APPENDIX: All rubrics, test items, and other measures must be included either in the Measures section or in the Appendix of the report.
Please do not upload multiple documents. Only one document will be accepted.
Please clearly label all items in the Appendix (i.e., “SLO1 – Measure 1”). Screenshots work best; copy and paste the image into the Word document.
EXAMPLE REPORTS: Below you will find two example reports (both fictitious programs).
- Sample Assessment of Learning Report - Undergraduate Program
- Sample Assessment of Learning Report - Graduate Program
How do I submit the report or self-study?
The report or self-study is submitted to our Assessment Office using a simple report submission form that will be emailed to program coordinators in August. We no longer have an online system for report submission.
When is the report or self-study due?
The report using the template OR your program's specialized accreditation self-study is due on October 15, 2021.
Report Feedback Form
The Office of Assessment provides written, qualitative feedback on all Assessment Plans and Assessment of Learning annual reports (not self-studies). Below you will find the feedback form for academic programs, which is created in Qualtrics so that we can aggregate the data for meta-assessment purposes.
- You may print a PDF of the feedback form using the first link below.
- You may perform a self-review of your own program's report or a peer review of another program's report using the Qualtrics link below. This self or peer review process is optional. It is for programs, departments, or colleges that wish to utilize a self or peer review process to improve the quality of their report(s) prior to submission to the Assessment Office.
- Please contact the Assessment Office at email@example.com if you have any questions or if you would like a PDF copy of the submitted self or peer review.
Please review the feedback form before submitting the report to ensure all of the criteria have been met. When you receive the feedback from our Assessment Office, please make the suggested changes. In some cases, the report need may need to be resubmitted.Please note: Assessment Plans must now be reviewed and approved by the Assessment Office when submitting curriculum changes in Curriculog (click here for more information). By making the recommended improvements to Assessment Plans as soon as possible, that approval process will be expedited.
If you would like to discuss the feedback in more detail, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an individual or team consultation.
Cohort Lists and Schedules (for non-accredited programs)
Assessment results for the previous year are reported each fall. However, to foster a strategic perspective in your continuous improvement efforts and allow time for improvements to be observed, the identification of trends and strategies for improvement takes place every 3 years.
As such, the Full Report Addendum within the MS Word template must be completed every 3 years. It includes an interpretation of analyses, trends over time, and the strategies for improvement selected for implementation during the next 3-year cycle.
Each program has been placed into a cohort that follows the 3-year cycle in a staggered fashion. See one of the Cohort Lists below for your program’s cohort. The Cohort Schedule (below) shows when the Full Report Addendum is due for each cohort.
The Cohort Schedule below applies to all colleges:
The Cohort Lists below contain the cohort placement for academic programs. For larger colleges, the programs within the college are divided into groups and those groups are assigned to a cohort. Find your program's cohort by clicking on the appropriate list below:
Introduction to D2L Learning Analytics Microlearning
It is KSU's mission to provide students an exceptional learning experience and to prepare them for life after graduation. If done well, assessment tells us how well we are fulfilling that mission and how to best improve our teaching strategies, our curriculum, and the student experience.
The use of D2L learning analytics will make the assessment process more meaningful and manageable for faculty, as well as more impactful for students. Consider taking the D2L Learning Analytics microlearning below (about 25 minutes) to discover how to access and use the learning analytics that are currently available in D2L. These analytics will be helpful for both formative and summative assessment.
Additionally, this resource guide may be helpful as you decide which D2L learning analytics to access and how to use them to improve student learning, your teaching strategies, the curriculum, and/or your assessment instruments (i.e., test items and rubrics).
EVALUATION STUDY: In order to assess the effectiveness of this microlearning, we are asking participants to take a short survey before and after completing the microlearning. With your consent, we would also like to send you a brief survey in 3-6 months to check-in about your use of the concepts and tools presented in the module. Participation in the study is completely voluntary. University research is carried out under the oversight of an Institutional Review Board (IRB Approval, Study FY22-70). You may access the full IRB consent documentation here.
Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions about assessment, the microlearning, or the evaluation study.View Introduction to Learning Analytics
Rubrics and Rubric Analysis TemplateCreating good rubrics takes time. Here are some resources for developing effective rubrics, as well as some example rubrics:
Consider attending our Academic Assessment Series module on Rubric Design (see left panel for more information about the series).We recommend using the Rubrics tool in D2L so that you can easily assess student learning and view aggregated rubric data for the course (see microlearning above). However, there may be times you would like to analyze rubric data using Excel.The following MS Excel template may be used to help aggregate and analyze rubric data. A blank template and an example are provided below. Instructions are included in the file, but feel free to contact our Assessment Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.You may find it helpful to take a screen shot of the table (example below) and insert it into the Results section of your program's Assessment of Learning Report.
- Creating and Using Rubrics (by University of Hawaii Manoa)
- Writing Rubrics Right by M. Oakleaf
- Rubric Template by University of West Florida (uwf.edu/cutla)
- AAC&U Value Rubrics
Guiding Questions and Additional Resources
Guiding Questions: Programs can make assessment more meaningful and manageable by:
- Focusing on outcomes and measures most in need of improvement,
- Discussing assessment results and improvement strategies at faculty meetings,
- Implementing targeted strategies to improve learning and your overall program, and
- Reporting on the continuous improvement activities that are already taking place.
Use the following questions to guide your discussions of assessment at faculty meetings.
Additional Resources: The resources below are intended to support your assessment and continuous improvement activities.
Please contact email@example.com to request an individual or team consultation. Also, if you have any additional resources that may be helpful, please share them with us.
- Higher Education Quality: Why Documenting Learning Matters (NILOA, 2016)
- Institutional Review Board's (IRB) page on Assessment/Evaluation vs. Research.
- The 2018-2023 KSU Strategic Plan
- 13 Steps to Creating a Learning Organization
- A Simple Model for Improvement
- An Approach to Designing Changes for Improvement
- The slides for this video presentation can be found here.
- Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U)
- Center for Statistics and Analytical Research
- Lumnia Foundation
- National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- How should I begin?
- What is assessment?
- Assessment is a collaborative effort intended to measure and improve student learning and student success. It is guided by the Office of Assessment.
- Your program has a mission and vision, along with program and course learning outcomes. Assessment results should inform efforts to improve student learning and student success, as well as curriculum changes.
- Assessment is one step in the continuous improvement cycle and should never be a burden when done correctly.
- Are we done once the outcomes have been achieved?
- Assessment and improvement is a continuous process. A new cycle begins after the previous one has been completed (see model above). Once there is no more room for improvement for a particular learning outcome, the focus should move to a knowledge or skill area where there is more room for improvement.
- Learning outcomes and measures should also be revised as needed to ensure they align with curriculum changes, industry standards, and employer needs.
- In these cases, the Assessment Plan should be updated to reflect the shift in focus.
- Why can't course grades be used as assessment?
- Overall grades are not granular enough to determine the specific areas with which students struggle. As such, it will be difficult to identify strategies to improve student learning in those specific areas and track progress over time.
- Many factors may contribute to course grades that do not relate to student learning, such as attendance and class participation.
- Instead of course grades, direct measures of student learning include: exam items, rubric items, and internship evaluation items that directly related to the Student Learning Outcome of interest.
If you have other questions not explained here, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.