An effective system of assessing student achievement includes measures at the senior level, near graduation, providing information about what students are able to achieve at the end of the program. For many programs, senior-level direct measures connect with a capstone course, as these culminating experiences can provide valuable holistic information about students’ learning before they […]
Due to their positive associations with student learning and retention, certain undergraduate opportunities (such as first-year experiences, learning communities, undergraduate research and culminating experiments) are designated “high-impact.” High-impact practices often share several traits; for example, they demand considerable time and effort, facilitate learning outside of the classroom, require meaningful interactions with faculty and students, and […]
In effective program assessment, programs and faculty systematically collect information about student learning, discuss results, and use that information to guide decisions that affect teaching and learning in the curriculum and the student experience in the program. Assessment allows programs to examine key areas including curriculum design, instructional effectiveness, and student experience.
“Painless,” “organic,” “minimally invasive” – these might be some of the adjectives used to describe the annual assessment activities of the Department of Psychology. Their practices offer others a model of efficiency in assessment, while providing useful – and actionable – information about student learning at both course and program levels.
Developing meaningful and effective program-level assessment is a complex, iterative process. Faculty conduct significant work toward continuous improvement of curriculum, instruction, and assessment that does not necessarily show up in the specific task of measuring student achievement. These assessment activities offer ways for faculty to think about student learning in the curriculum and how to […]
Student learning outcomes (SLOs) represent core skills and knowledge students should develop through a curriculum or program of study. SLOs provide students and faculty with a framework for understanding the goals and expectations for a degree. While all forms of assessment can provide useful information for program improvement, assessment aligned with specific student learning outcomes […]
Qualitative data consists primarily of words and observations, rather than numbers. It can come in many forms and from a variety of sources, including responses to open-ended survey questions, focus group notes, interview transcripts, internship supervisor comments, essay responses, and student portfolios. Qualitative data are useful for answering “why” and “how” questions about student performance, […]
Assessment data look at student performance in order to offer evidence about student learning in the curriculum, provide information about program strengths and weaknesses, and guide decision-making. Analyzing the data (in context) gives meaning to the information collected and is essential in order to appropriately utilize and communicate the assessment results. There is no “one […]
Direct measures are assessments of students’ performances or work products that demonstrate the students’ skills and knowledge, helping to reveal what they have learned and to what extent. Direct measures come in many forms and WSU encourages programs to develop measures that fit their needs and disciplinary expectations. Results from direct measures can give faculty […]
Senior exit surveys give students an opportunity to provide feedback on their undergraduate experiences. Questions may include those about curriculum, faculty, offices and services, social opportunities, and career preparation. Academic programs can use students’ responses to inform decisions and improve student learning.