What is Student Learning Outcomes Assessment?
Student learning outcomes describe the knowledge, skills, and values that students should attain in an academic program. Assessment of student learning outcomes involves the systematic gathering of information for the purpose of determining what students are actually attaining, and the use of that information to improve student learning.
Benefits of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
Students are the primary beneficiaries of learning outcomes assessment. However, assessing learning outcomes can also help faculty seeking to add to or improve curricular offerings. Assessment data can also help academic programs more clearly demonstrate to institutional and external audiences the strengths of the program and the success of the students.
Responsibility for Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
Basic requirements for annual assessment of student learning:
Student Learning Outcomes
Formative and Summative Assessments (Click here for more information about formative and summative assessments)
Criteria for Success (aka Achievement Targets)
Using Results for Program Improvement
Faculty should agree upon and create a list of program-level learning outcomes that articulate the knowledge, skills, and values that should be demonstrated by all students completing the program. Typically, program-level learning outcomes do not describe specific tasks students will complete, but the key knowledge and skills demonstrated by the tasks.
Faculty should consider how the progression of required and elective courses, and the course objectives, will lead students to achieve the program-level outcomes. A course alignment matrix is a useful tool for mapping the courses in which students are introduced to, develop, and master the knowledge/skills/values described in each learning outcome.
A program may choose outcomes that can be assessed at different points in time; some outcomes may not lend themselves to annual assessment.
Examples of program-level outcomes: