ACE Assessment Digest

The ACE Assessment Digest is a bite-sized email, sent twice a semester, intended to communicate news and resources to help WSU undergraduate academic programs implement good program assessment practices and leverage available resources. See below for the current issue and an archive of past issues.


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Current Issue

ACE Assessment Digest Header.

ACE Assessment Digest | November 2023

In this issue:

Program Assessment Spotlight: Using a Course Debrief Approach to Assess Student Performance for Program-level Assessment (History)

An effective system of assessing student learning includes measures near the end of the curriculum, providing information about what students are able to achieve at the end of the program. For many undergraduate programs, these measures include the evaluation of student performance in 400-level courses, based on coursework that demonstrates specific program-level student learning outcomes.

WSU’s History Department has adopted a course debrief process to evaluate student achievement of program learning outcomes in selected 400-level courses, including History 469, the culminating course for all History majors on all campuses. With the course debrief approach, participating faculty fill out an assessment form, using their expertise to evaluate student performance in their own course on program learning outcomes, and then collaboratively discuss their responses. >> Read More …

Program Assessment Spotlight: Using a Single Point Rubric to Assess Student Coursework for Program-level Assessment (English)

Rubrics for program assessment come in many forms and vary to best meet the needs of a program. A single point rubric, for example, describes one critical level of performance on the rating scale (such as “meets expectations for a graduating senior”), focusing evaluation relative to that performance level. Single point rubrics also include space for raters to provide qualitative comments when the student work falls at other performance levels on the rating scale.

WSU’s English, BA degree program has adopted a process where instructors use student work products in their own courses – papers, presentations, or other types of assignments – to evaluate student achievement of program learning outcomes. Specifically, instructors of selected 300- and 400-level English courses use the program’s single point rubric to provide rubric scores and comments for each senior English major in their course (as well as juniors completing the English Teaching option who are nearing the end of their coursework in English). The program’s single point rubric focuses assessment around the skills and knowledge – student learning outcomes – desired for English majors as they graduate. >> Read More …

Additional Examples of Direct Measures Collected Near the End of the Curriculum at WSU

WSU expects programs to regularly collect direct measures near the end of the curriculum, providing programs with information about student achievement of program-level student learning outcomes as students are completing the curriculum. WSU encourages programs to choose measures that provide useful information to their faculty and fit with disciplinary expectations.

Each year, we compile selected examples of direct measures collected near the end of the curriculum by WSU undergraduate degree programs, as reported in the annual undergraduate degree program assessment reports. The examples are intended to show a range of direct measures collected near the end of the curriculum and are not intended to be exhaustive or show all measures collected by WSU programs.

Resources in Our Direct Measures Toolkit: Resources for Developing and Refining Direct Measures of Student Learning

Direct measures are assessments (by faculty or other professionals) of student work products or performances that provide demonstrated evidence of program-level student learning outcomes (SLOs) (i.e., skills and knowledge). Direct measures come in many forms and may vary to best meet the needs of a program.

Our Direct Measures Toolkit includes resources intended to help WSU programs and faculty as they choose, develop, implement, and refine direct measures for assessing student performance on program-level SLOs, including our:

We are also available to collaborate with undergraduate degree programs to design rubrics or other tools to measure student learning on program-level SLOs; contact us for additional information.

Thank You: Brief Survey of Assessment Coordinator Needs in October

We’d like to extend our appreciation to the faculty assessment coordinators who completed our brief survey of assessment coordinator needs in October. We’re working to compile the data to better support assessment coordinators and refine our services and resources.

Program Assessment Mini-grants Available

To help support undergraduate degree programs working to improve program-level assessment of student learning, and university priorities for quality curriculum and instruction, we are offering Program Assessment Mini-grants! WSU faculty who are involved with the development, implementation, or use of undergraduate program-level student learning outcomes assessment are welcome to apply. Applications are accepted on a rolling-basis; see the Request for Proposals (PDF) for more information.

FYI – Calendar of Fall 2023 Dates Related to Program Assessment

AugEarly AugSpring 2023 [CAPS] instructors receive a pdf copy of their [CAPS] Assessment Report for UCORE from UCORE via email. Note: Typically, assessment in a CAPS course for majors can contribute toward degree program level assessment of student learning – see our resource related to [CAPS] Assessment Reporting for UCORE as part of degree program assessment.
21stFirst day of instruction for the term.
Sept19thDeadline for undergraduate students to drop a course without record.
Late SeptFall 2023 [CAPS] instructors receive an email from UCORE with initial information about [CAPS] Assessment Reporting for UCORE for the fall term.
Oct1stFall submission deadline for major Curricular Change Requests for new and revised courses & new and revised requirements.
Mid OctBrief survey of assessment coordinator needs.
Nov1stProgram assessment coordinators receive an email from ACE with information about 2023 Undergraduate Program Assessment Reporting, including the report planning sheet. ACE is also available to help assessment coordinators complete the report; contact us for additional information.
17thDeadline for undergraduate students to withdraw from a course.
DecEarly DecFall 2023 [CAPS] instructors receive their link to the [CAPS] Assessment Reporting for UCORE form in Qualtrics via email (i.e., reporting opens).
8thLast day of instruction for the term.
Mid DecProgram assessment coordinators receive an email from ACE with a unique link to their 2023 Undergraduate Program Assessment Reporting form in Qualtrics. Assessment coordinators can submit their report during the open reporting window — anytime from mid-Dec 2023 through Feb 2024.
19thFinal grade submission ends.
Jan5thFall 2023 [CAPS] Assessment Reports for UCORE are due (i.e., reporting closes).

ACE Support for Program Assessment Efforts

We work with colleges and programs to assess student learning towards the improvement of undergraduate degree programs. ACE also provides assessment support for university-wide undergraduate education, serving all colleges, campuses, and UCORE general education. See What We Do for more information, including our mission.

Copyright © WSU Office of Assessment for Curricular Effectiveness (ACE), All rights reserved.

ACE Assessment Digest is a bite-sized email, sent twice a semester, communicating timely information about undergraduate program assessment at WSU. To send feedback, tips, or to opt out, email


November 2023 (PDF)Program Assessment Spotlights: History & English, Additional Examples of Direct Measures Collected at WSU, Direct Measures Toolkit, and More
September 2023 (PDF)Fall Welcome, WSU-wide Summary of 2022 Undergraduate Program Assessment, Use of Assessment and Curriculum Map Examples, and More
March 2023 (PDF)Undergraduate Program Assessment Reporting Thank You, Help Promote NSSE 2023, Faculty Assessment Coordinator Transitions for AY 2023-24, Assessment Archives, and More
January 2023 (PDF)Undergraduate Degree Program Assessment Reporting Reminder, NSSE 2023 Promotion, Program-level Student Learning Outcomes Resources, and More
November 2022 (PDF)Program Assessment Spotlight: 2022 WSU Celebration of Assessment Excellence, WSU Examples of Use of Assessment to Inform Decision-Making, Curriculum Map Resources, and More
September 2022 (PDF)Fall Welcome, WSU-wide Summary of 2021 Undergraduate Program Assessment, New Direct Measures Resources, and More
March 2022 (PDF)Undergraduate Program Assessment Reporting Thank You, Faculty Assessment Coordinator Transitions for AY 2022-23, Internships, Assessment Archives, Sampling and Sample Sizes, and More
January 2022 (PDF)Program Assessment Spotlight: Neuroscience, Resources for Creating Visual Displays of Rubric Data, Reporting Program Assessment Activities in Faculty Annual Review, and More
November 2021 (PDF)Program Assessment Spotlight: Human Development, WSU Examples of Senior-level Direct Measures, NSSE, and More
September 2021 (PDF)Fall Welcome, AY2021-22 Guidance for Undergraduate Program Assessment, WSU-wide Summary of 2020 Undergraduate Program Assessment, and More
February 2020 (PDF)NSSE Toolkit, CAPS Assessment for UCORE
January 2020 (PDF)Assessment in Activity Insight, NSSE for Academic Programs, Assessment Mini-grants
November 2019 (PDF)2019 Celebration of Assessment Excellence, WSU-wide Summary, Examples of Use
October 2019 (PDF)Assessment Planning Resources, Making Assessment Worthwhile
September 2019 (PDF)ATL's Assessment Reporting Process, Warm Syllabi
April 2019 (PDF)Annual Report Drop-in Sessions, Warm Syllabus Workshop
March 2019 (PDF)WSU Featured as Example of Assessment Practice, Setting Benchmarks & Standards
February 2019 (PDF)NSSE and the Student Experience, WSU Qualtrics Summit
January 2019 (PDF)Reporting Assessment in Faculty Annual Review, Improvement Culture, Sampling
December 2018 (PDF)Course Evaluation Tips, Data Analysis Toolkit, Rubrics for Research Papers
November 2018 (PDF)NWCCU Reaffirmation, Assignment Design Resources, Grading Tips
April 2018 (PDF)2018 Undergraduate Program Assessment Reporting
March 2018 (PDF)Assignment Design Workshop, On-site Visit for WSU Accreditation
February 2018 (PDF)Assessment Plan Resources