Assessment is more than measuring, evaluating, or testing what students know, can do, or think. The assessment cycle is complete only when the the information collected about student learning is used to improve learning. (Some accrediting agencies refer to this as the “feedback loop.") It is worthwhile to remember that the assessment process is iterative: Its major goal is to help inculcate productive change and growth over time.
Questions to consider when reviewing assessment data:
- What does the evaluation or assessment information tell you about what and how well students are learning?
- How will you use the information to improve student learning?
- What additional information is needed?
- In what areas do students often have difficulty in this program or course? (Can you address prior knowledge or content differently or develop a different assessment tool?)
- Are the time and resources spent trying to achieve student learning working?
- Can the program back its claim that its graduating students are learning to “think critically” or can “write clearly and effectively”?
- How can the department improve learning most effectively in a time of tight resources?