Peer-Reviewed Paper Published: Determining if the Students Learned what We Expected – Assessing Outcomes

To ensure that we are adding value in learning, and acting as a learning centric institution, we must be willing to determine if students are achieving our learning goals and outcomes – adjusting to improve success rates where possible. To accomplish this, we must convert our intuitive sense of accomplishment to explicit definitions and measures of learning. By studying this article and its linked resources, and by using the associated shared files, you will be able to:

  • Define common terms used in the assessment of student learning.
  • Define a useful scale to determine the student’s level of achievement of a learning outcome.
  • Analyze and disaggregate tests, projects, papers, etc., and correlate their components with course learning outcomes.
  • Evaluate the impact of course changes on learning outcome achievements.
  • Explain the relationships between program learning outcomes, course learning outcomes, and course structure and progression.
  • Calculate program learning outcome achievements from course learning outcome achievements or by using key assessments at points within the curriculum.
  • Describe how learning outcomes can be assessed for programs such as General / Liberal Education, Honors, and for extracurricular learning.
  • Compare and evaluate external tools for assessing general education learning outcomes.
  • Formulate standards of success for a program, evaluate its status, and set goals.
  • Describe the relationship between goals and outcomes, and how outcome assessment data could be used to analyze progress toward goal achievement at the department, college/school, and institutional levels.

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The above peer-reviewed paper was published on the Higher Education Leadership Learning Online (HELLO) Community. The HELLO Community is an international, peer led and fed organization whose vision is “to become the resource of choice for higher education leaders when seeking practical information about performing their jobs with excellence”. HELLO is an information aggregator of articles, books, useful web sites and events, a powerful set of networking tools, and an open source online journal focused on practical solutions to higher ed management and leadership issues. Community membership is required for complete access to resources and is restricted to those who hold or have held a higher ed leadership position. There is no cost, advertising, or membership data sharing with other organizations.

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