This assessment workbook provides the faculty of Central Penn College with the tools and resources to conduct course, program, and institutional assessment. It was created by the Center for Teaching Excellence alongside the Assessment Committee of Faculty Senate to help educate and support faculty's use of best practices in assessment.
Assessment is the process of collecting, analyzing, and communicating information about the ways students learn. Assessment helps programs and institutions to improve their student learning through a recursive process of identifying, evaluating, and monitoring student learning.
Assessment begins with outcomes or the skills and knowledge students gain at the end of a learning experience. For institutions of higher education, these come in the form of mission statements (institutional and programmatic) and student learning outcomes (institutional, programmatic, and course). These foundational documents aid with assessment by providing a guiding framework.
From these foundations, assessment then moves into the programming itself--the curriculum, the services, and the activities--that create the learning environment. All aspects of a learning environment should further the ideals and goals set forth in the foundational documents and should align with them. In conducting assessment, institutions turn to the curriculum, services, and activities for the student artifacts or the specific object created by students used to gauge learning outcomes.
These artifacts are then analyzed by the specialist or expert (usually faculty members, program directors, and student services staff) and the results are communicated to the various stakeholders. These results usually contain the conclusions reached from the assessment process as well as recommendations for improving the learning environment.
Once these conclusions and recommendations are communicated, the programs, academic schools, and College will then determine how to use this assessment to further enhance the program. These decisions will then be communicated and tracked by the departments and the process will repeat.