Assessment of Learning
Each academic program must develop and maintain an Assessment Plan. At a minimum, an approved Assessment Plan includes:
- Identification of an assessment contact who leads development, implementation, and report completion for their program. Please email changes in assessment contacts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Three clearly stated Student Learning Outcomes and their relation to the KSU mission and strategic plan.
- Two measures for each outcome, indicating how the outcome will be assessed and the data will be collected. Measures may be quantitative or qualitative. For educational programs, each outcome must have at least one direct measure of student learnining (i.e., rubric items, exam items, internship evaluation items, etc.).
- Review this checklist to ensure all criteria are met for Assessment Plan approval.
Each fall, programs provide a report of assessment activity for the previous academic year. Depending on the program’s cohort and the cohort schedule (see Cohort Lists & Schedules), the assessment report may include:
- Summary of analyses and results for each measure (reported annually).
- Interpretation of results and trends over the 3-year assessment period (reported every three years per the Cohort Schedule).
- Any improvements verified with multiple years of data (reported every three years).
- A specific strategy for improvement to be implemented during the next 3-year assessment cycle (reported every three years). While strategies may relate to the assessment process, at least one strategy must focus on improving student learning.
Online System User Guides
The online system serves as a “central repository” for documentation of assessment and continuous improvement activities. The template below lists the fields included in the online Assessment Plan/Improvement Report. The example report may assist you as you complete the report for your own program.
The online system may be accessed by clicking the yellow button on the bottom-left of this screen. Access is granted on an as-needed basis by contacting email@example.com.
The Quick-Start User Guide provides basic instructions for utilizing the online system. A more extensive user guide is also included below.
Resources, Templates, and Examples
Student Learning Outcomes & Measures Resource DocumentAssessment Plan/Improvement Report Template
Example Improvement Report
Assessment of Learning Process Map
Results, Interpretations & Trends, and Strategies for Improvement Resource Document
Strategies for Improvement Resource Document
Microsoft Excel Rubric Analysis Template (Blank)
Microsoft Excel Rubric Analysis Template (Example)
Cohort Lists and Schedules
Reporting of assessment and continuous improvement activities follows a 3-year cycle, while still maintaining an annual reporting of results. Each program has been placed into a cohort that will follow the 3-year cycle in a staggered fashion. See the Cohort List for your program’s cohort.
A summary of assessment results for the previous year is reported each fall. However, to foster a strategic perspective in your continuous improvement efforts and allow time for improvements to be observed, the reporting of Interpretations and Trends / Strategies for Improvement takes place every three years.
The Cohort Schedules listed below show the staggered, cyclical pattern of reporting. In the online system, you will only see the reporting elements that are required for your program in a given year.
The Cohort Lists below contain the cohort placement for educational programs. For larger colleges, the units within the college are divided into groups and those groups are assigned to a cohort. The Cohort Schedule applies to all colleges.
The Office of Assessment provides written, qualitative feedback on all Assessment Plans and Improvement Reports. Below you will find copies of the feedback forms for educational programs.
When you receive the feedback, please make the suggested changes in the appropriate plan and/or report.
Please note: Assessment Plans must now be reviewed and approved by the Office of Assessment 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.
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.
- 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)
Freqently 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 stuggle. 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 attendence 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.