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FAQ

 

Will the results of assessment be used to evaluate faculty performance?
Will assessment data become a part of students’ College records?
How does assessment differ from testing and grading?

When should I assess student learning?
When is the Annual Assessment Report due?
What are the benefits of assessment?
How are assessment results used at the institutional level?
How does one add assessment to the already busy schedules of faculty members?

 

 


 

Will the results of assessment be used to evaluate faculty performance? 

No!  Faculty awareness, participation, and ownership are essential for successful program assessment, but assessment results should never be used to evaluate or judge individual faculty performance. The results of program assessment are used to improve programs.

 

Will assessment data become a part of students’ College records?

No. The assessment process is not intended to track the progress of individual students.

 

How does assessment differ from testing and grading?

Testing is a form of assessment, usually done in classrooms in individual courses. Grading is a form of evaluation and may use the results of assessment. The reverse is also true: assessment may use both test results and grades. Assessment often uses multiple methods, including testing, to allow students to demonstrate what they have learned and how they can use the knowledge. Assessment can address student learning in more than a single course, which testing and grading could do, but most testing and grading focuses on a single course.

Assessment also emphasizes consistency of judgment across individual students in a way that grading does not because grading is done by individual faculty members, each having his or her own standards.

 

When should I assess student learning?

Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. For the results of assessment to be useful, it needs to be part of everyday processes, but the timing and scope of efforts should be logical and appropriate for individual programs. Because the purpose of assessment is to improve the quality of student learning through teaching, it's essential that assessment be ongoing and useful. Do not try to assess every program goal and student learning outcome at once; focus on a small number of fundamental goals over a period of time.

 

When is the Annual Assessment Report due?

Reports should be submitted electronically to the CASL c/o Darlene Gandolfi, Chair.  Reports are due no later than June 15 each year.

 

What are the benefits of assessment?

 For students, Outcomes Assessment will:
• communicate clear expectations about what’s important in a course or program
• inform them that they will be evaluated in a consistent and transparent way
• reassure them that there is common core content across all sections of a course
• allow them to make better decisions about programs based on outcomes results

For faculty, participating in Outcomes Assessment will:
• help them determine what's working and what's not working in their courses or
programs
• facilitate valuable interdisciplinary and intercampus discussions
• provide powerful evidence to justify needed resources to maintain or improve
programs
• allow them to tell their story to individuals outside their area (e.g. administrators, prospective students, transfer institutions)
• provide reassurance that all faculty teaching a particular high demand course
agree to address certain core content

For administrators, implementing collegewide Outcomes Assessment will:
• demonstrate an institutional commitment to continually improving the academic
programs and services offered by the College
• provide valuable data to support requests for funds from state and local
government and private donors

 

How are assessment results used at the institutional level?

All annual program-level assessment reports are reviewed by the CASL. The CASL then produces an annual report of assessment results for the Provost that provides valuable data for academic planning and decision-making.

 

How does one add assessment to the already busy schedules of faculty members?

To the extent that one can incorporate assessment into daily practice, assessment will not appear as an additional burden. Programs need to find creative ways to incorporate assessment into curriculum and instruction so that it is part of a normal work load. The burden will seem unbearable to an assessment coordinator who tries to pull together disparate elements of an uncoordinated assessment program on the weekend before the Annual Assessment Report is due. For the assessment coordinator who plans ahead and fully involves faculty in the collection, interpretation, and use of assessment data, the burden will be less onerous.