Academic departments establish outcomes for each program and course to assess the extent to which students are learning and attaining competencies. Within each academic department, faculty review program outcomes and course outcomes to ensure that students are attaining the skills and knowledge expected of program graduates. The outcomes are clear and speak to both content and level of attainment. Each semester, faculty members gather data on student attainment of learning outcomes for the individual courses they teach. Annually, faculty members assess and evaluate the data across all course sections, locations and delivery modes, and use the results to change or improve the courses. Faculty members also meet to evaluate student attainment of program learning outcomes and end of program benchmarks. Aggregated evaluation findings inform program decision makers and are used to maintain or improve student learning and/or teaching methodologies.
As a faculty member, you will be asked to participate in course and program student outcome assessment. Course learning outcomes are mapped to program outcomes that map to the institutional learning outcomes. Data are collected from the course outcomes and measured against benchmarks that result in discussion with the faculty on improving the course or program. Changes to a program or courses could be manifested in many ways, and may include but not be limited to:
Once the changes have been implemented, it is important to document whether the changes to a program or course as a result of the action plan have had the desired impact. This is what we refer to as ‘closing the loop.’
(a) Institutional - Institutional Learning Outcomes
(b) Programs – Program Learning Outcomes
(c) Courses – Student Learning Outcomes