Levels of Assessment
The assessment process begins by identifying the goals/objectives of student learning – at the level of the individual class and across course sections; within a discipline/program; and across the institution. Goals at each of those levels will identify what students should know and do as a result of the experience.
A component of teaching is assessing to determine if students understand/can apply the materials being taught. It can be informal, with no reporting of assessment results, and used to identify when additional time/practice is needed. The college offers training in Classroom Assessment Techniques or “CATS” at the beginning of each semester to learn more.
Faculty in collaboration with their program coordinator/department chair measure student proficiency for course objectives. Examples: common final exam with questions linked to specific course objectives, embedded test questions across multiple course offering, use of rubrics, etc
Results of assessment are shared with the faculty within the area, are analyzed and recommendations are made. Reports of assessment are submitted on an Assessment of Student Learning Report to the OA Coordinator for review by the Disciplines Committee and included in the program review process.
Refer to the course objectives to know what the students will be able to know, do, and think/behave (attitudes) after completing a course. Determine assessment measures to determine if students are learning those objectives.
Instruction is adapted based on those assessments to assist students in successfully meeting the objectives of the course.
Course syllabi are available from Department Chairs/Program Coordinators/Deans.
Use the Course Syllabus Template to develop your course syllabus. To assure consistency in what is taught in all course locations, every faculty member follows the departmentally approved course syllabus. Every syllabus should be consistent with the master syllabus in the following areas:
- Course Name & Number
- Methods for evaluating student performance
- Topical outline
Discipline / Program / Degree Level Assessments
A department chair, program coordinator/director, or degree champions facilitates assessment at this level. The assessments conducted are to assess student/graduate knowledge, skills, and attitudes/beliefs relative to educational goals identified by the program/discipline.
Steps for Assessment at the Discipline/Program/Degree level
- Disciplines and programs/degrees have identified missions & measurable student performance educational goals specific to the discipline or program/degree. See Discipline and Program Assessment for submitted discipline & program mission & goals.
- A minimum of one core competency skill from each of the core competency categories (Communication/Reasoning/
Citizenship) is included in the program’s or discipline’s educational goals.
- A curriculum map is submitted by every discipline, program/degree to identify the courses in which each of the educational goals are taught within the program/degree or discipline.
- Courses that are identified on a curriculum map should have clear course objectives that are related to meeting the discipline, program/degree educational goals.
- Results of assessment are shared with the faculty within the area, are analyzed and recommendations are made. Reports of assessment are submitted on an Assessment of Student Learning Report to the OA Coordinator for review by the Disciplines Committee and included in the program review process.
- Assessment of each of the educational goals occurs frequently enough to identify trends – a minimum of every 2 years is recommended for each skill the program/degree or discipline identifies.
- All program/degree or discipline goals & core competencies are evaluated within a 5 year period. The Assessment Cycle Report form is used to report a timeline of when the assessments will occur.
- Refer to the OA Handbook regarding determining sample size for assessments that involve a large group of students.
Institutional General Education Core Competency Level Assessment
The core competencies are assessed at the institutional level based on an established timeline – See the OA Handbook for the timeline.
Utilizing the core competency curriculum maps and random sampling to identify potential courses involved in the assessment, the OA coordinator collaborates with the teaching faculty to collect student work (artifacts) related to the assessment.
The work is reviewed using a common rubric by a team of faculty.
The faculty are trained in using the rubric (instrument) to assure consistency in the assessment conducted by the various team members.
A standardized nationally normed purchased test is another option for assessment at the institutional level as well as student surveys, ie., Community College Survey of Student Engagement.
Every discipline, program/degree identifies a minimum of one competency from each of the three core general education competency categories:
Communication Skills Category
- Oral Communication
- Computer Literacy
Reasoning Skills Category
- Critical Thinking
- Quantitative Literacy
- Civic & Social Accountability
- Personal Accountability
The results of the assessment are shared with the General Education Committee as well as the Curriculum Committee to discuss and reflect on findings, trends, and any recommendations regarding improvements or follow up.
Reports of assessment are submitted on an Assessment of Student Learning Report to the OA Coordinator for review by the Disciplines Committee and included in the program review process.
Collection and Storage of Student Data
Raw data collected for the purpose of assessing student learning within the department or program will be stored within the department or program area. If any clarification is required, the department chair/program coordinator will provide the necessary documentation. Only compiled and interpreted data collected will be shared with the entire college community.
Raw data collected institutionally for the purpose of assessing student learning of the Core Competencies will be stored within the Outcomes Assessment office. Any identifying marks on the samples will be removed. Any unused data will be destroyed.