What is Academic Program Assessment? • Assessment is an iterative process for gathering, interpreting, and applying outcomes data from programs, or entire curricula to improve program effectiveness • It occurs at the program level • Is measured by student learning outcomes (SLOs) • The goal is continual program improvement
How Assessment Works • Assessment is an iterative feedback process for continual program improvement, based on the model shown below:
Why are we assessing? • The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (HCC’s accrediting agency) requires all academic programs to develop an assessment plan: • 2.5: engage in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes that incorporate a systematic review of programs and services that a)results in continuing improvement and b) demonstrates that HCC is effectively accomplishing its mission. • 3.3.1: The institution identifies expected outcomes for its educational programs; assesses whether it achieves these outcomes; and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of those results.
Academic Program Assessment Plans • To satisfy reporting requirements, HCC requires all academic programs to implement formal plans for the assessment of learning outcomes • Each plan must include explicit procedures for determining which outcomes will be measured, what results will be reported, and how results have been implemented
Program Assessment Plan Components The assessment plan template includes these components: 1). Student Learning Outcomes 2). Means of Assessment 3). Expected Results/Performance Targets 4). Results of Assessment 5). Use of Results 6). Program Changes 7). Curriculum Map
Getting Started • Participate with your program faculty in brainstorming discussions on these questions: • What particular skills, knowledge, or abilities should graduates of your program be able to demonstrate upon graduation? • At what levels of expertise should they be able to demonstrate such knowledge, skills, and abilities? • As specifically as possible, identify how you can assess whether students have acquired these abilities
Defining SLOs • Learning outcomes are observable indicators or evidence of actual student learning. • Ideally, each outcome: • Is a measurable estimator of a program objective • Is a feasible measure given the resources available • Links actual student learning to intended post-graduate abilities • Reflects ability and knowledge • Can be a direct or indirect measure
Measuring SLOs • Each program must select an array of assessment tools, which can include both direct measures of student knowledge and performance, and indirect measures of changes in student behavior, attitudes, or values. • Direct measures include national standardized tests; licensing or certification exams; local content or competency exams, papers, or projects; skills tests, projects, reports, demonstrations, or performances; portfolio analysis; capstone projects, experiences, or performances; email or online discussion board content; and so forth. • Indirect measures include surveys of students, alumni, or employers; student or graduate profiles, interviews, or focus groups; transcript analysis; periodic review of syllabi, textbooks, exams, or other curricular materials; and so forth. • In this section of the plan, each program must identify: • Assessment Method - For each SLO, you need to enter the assessment method you are using - exam (course, internal, or external), project paper, presentation, performance, etc. and • Measurement- List the measurement procedure you use for this outcome. It can be a faculty-developed rubric with the minimum acceptable level identified, an exam score and the minimum passing score, or other measurement.
Expected Results • This is the criterion for success. The “criterion for success” is the minimum percentage or number of students who pass the assessment that you consider to be acceptable for your program. For example: • State: 80% of students who take the Licensing Exam will score at or above the national average
Reporting Results • To address this section of the plan, please aggregate your results for the data you collected. For example: • State: X number of students passed the assessment out of a total of Y students, for a percentage of Z%. • Also indicate whether or not results met your criterion for success. For example: • State: This meets/does not meet the criterion for success
Using Assessment Results to make Program Changes • This is the step in the assessment cycle that makes assessment relevant, and it is the step which is likely to be most scrutinized by outside agencies • To address this section, please refer to the results that were reviewed • State actions taken in past tense. For example: • “Based on our review, we decided to…” • “modify our SLO #1 because the data indicated that…” • “change the course content for ABCXXXX effective fall 20XX because the data revealed that…”
Curriculum Map • The Curriculum Map is a matrix that organizes important information about the introduction, reinforcement, and assessment of the SLOs in a degree program. • The Curriculum Map indicates where in the program the SLOs are introduced (I), reinforced (R), or assessed (A). Specifically, it: • identifies where SLOs are introduced, reinforced, and assessed • links SLOs to program courses ***Not all courses are included, only the courses where the SLOS are introduced, reinforced, and assessed are mapped
Submission Process • All assessment plans are contained in the online Student Learning Outcomes Assessment System within the Tactical Planning System (TPS) • Plans are updated annually according to the schedule below:
Due Dates • August 2014: (1) assessment system opens; (2) discuss & modify program based on results from 2013-2014 • September 2014: (1) enter results & use of results for 2013-2014 into assessment system; (2) modify new SLOs for 2014-2015 (if necessary) • October 2014: Plans for 2013-2014 reviewed for completeness by academic assessment officer • May 2015: data analysis of 2014-2015 SLOs August-May: Implement assessment plan (collect data)
Further Questions? • For further information regarding academic program assessment or for TPS login information please contact: Jennifer Gangi, PhD, MPH Academic Assessment Officer 259-6516 firstname.lastname@example.org