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Annual Assessment Reports

Program Assessment Form Written Communication 12_14

Program Assessment Form_Oral Communication_13_15 

Sample Bachelor's

Assessment of Student Learning Overview

Assessment of student learning is the systematic collection of information about student learning, using the time, knowledge, expertise, and resources available, in order to inform decisions about how to improve learning. (Walvoord, Assessment Clear and Simple)

At the heart of our assessment efforts is the work of Barbara Walvoord who states the three steps of assessment are:

  1. Articulate your goals for student learning;
  2. Gather evidence about how well the students are meeting the goals
  3. Use the information for improvement.

The defining feature of Walvoord's approach to assessment is her emphasis on the course-embedded assignment and on the professional expertise of the individual professor, whose experience in grading student work is the foundational assessment act. What Walvoord suggests is that professors become more intentional, reflective, and articulate in naming their criteria for evaluating student performance on a particular assignment. She asks professors to develop rubrics that specify levels of performance across various criteria, to use the rubrics to score student work, and then to analyze the distribution of scores to discover patterns of strengths and weaknesses in student performance. When these patterns are reported at a department meeting, the ensuing faculty discussion often leads to suggested improvements in teaching methods, assignments, course design, or curricular coverage to ameliorate weaknesses. A department's assessment plan in any given year can be based upon an assignment already embedded within departmental courses and can use as data the professor's grading of the assignments using a rubric. The assessment instrument can be any observable product or performance that can be graded.