Learning, whether in or out of the classroom, should never happen in a vacuum.
We must be able to answer the following questions:
- What do we want students to learn as a result of participating in our programs?
- What are the learning outcomes ?
- How do we know that our programs and services are promoting learning and student success?
We must make "meaning of how, what, when, and where students learn".....this is a vital, exciting, and inspiring component of higher education."
We must establish a culture of assessment on our campus; providing evidence that our students are indeed acquiring vital skills and competencies as a result of the learning experiences that we provide.
"Ultimately educators need to know this: How have those elements of learning, individually or as a whole, increased students' capacity to think critically, analyze and solve problems, work with people of similar or different demographic or cultural backgrounds, lead or follow leaders, or acquire, synthesize, and apply knowledge? What transferable life skills ( such as managing their own health care, participating as active citizens in the political process, or engaging in rewarding reacreational and leisure activities) did students develop? Did students learn how to learn- an did they acquire commitments to lifelong learning? In other words, What evidence did postsecondary education make in their lives? ( adapted from Keeling, Wall, Underhile & Dungy (2008). Assessment Reconsidered: Institutional Effectiveness for Student Success. Publication by International Center for Student Success and Institutional Accountability -ICSSIA)
Higher education is an active process and we must assessing student learning, and institutional effectiveness to the delivery of the learnign experience is all critical to student success.
Below are resources that are helpful in determining what learning outcomes educators can focus on and how they can create assessment protocols. Creating assessment protocols helps us be intentional in our planning, implementing and evaluating of institutional and programmatic goals. Assessment is a process; not an end in itself.
http://www.assessmentcommons.org/index.html# - Over 1500 links on assessment
Worthen, Sanders and Fitzpatrick's (1997) practical guidelines for planning evaluations.
∑ Are the programs achieving the intended objectives?
∑ Is the implementation being carried out as intended?
∑ Are there any unintended effects?
∑ How many students has the program helped?
Updated May 2016