Levels of Assessment
Assessment in the Core Curriculum
Working collaboratively with the CCC and the Core Curriculum Administrative Team (CCAT), the College is cycling through a deep level of assessment of the Core Curriculum’s mission-related learning goals.
To develop a plan of assessment for a particular learning goal, the assessment staff typically meets with a small team of faculty members who are considered subject matter experts in the area of study.
Assessment plans usually include scores of students’ work from first-year and senior “capstone-type” courses across majors. To gather this work, the assessment staff collaborates with the teaching faculty to collect student work (artifacts) related to the assessment. The College seeks to learn if students’ skills in a particular area are at a level that we would expect, and to see if there is a progression in that skill over their undergraduate experience.
Often, student work is reviewed using a common rubric by a team of faculty. The faculty are trained in using the rubric (instrument) to assure consistency in the assessment conducted by the various team members.
A standardized nationally normed purchased test is another option for assessment at the institutional level as well as student surveys.
Also related to core learning, the assessment staff conducts a major, longitudinal e-portfolio project to gather qualitative and quantitative data with respect to students’ learning/development along all of the Core Curriculum’s mission-related learning goals for randomly invited, self-selected students in a given class year. The student participants’ portfolios are reviewed twice [at the end of their sophomore year and again at the end of their senior year] against a comprehensive rubric by a team of faculty and assessment staff. The findings are shared with the College’s Core Curriculum-related committees, as well as the broader community, and are used to inform Core planning and, potentially, changes that lead to further learning/developmental improvements.
Assessment in the Co-Curriculum
This area of assessment focuses on in the improvement of student learning through programmatic offerings, student engagement, and data-driven decision-making.
Annually, all co-curricular programs will report the assessment activities their program completed for the previous academic year. The assessment staff will review all of the submitted reports and provide feedback. The assessment staff works closely with the Direction of Communications and Assessment in Students Affairs to coordinate and synchronize assessment projects/efforts.
Assessment in the Department/Program
The college’s assessment plan asks chairs and/or coordinators to organize regular assessment work within their departments or programs. Each department and program should articulate its core objectives for student learning/development as the foundation for this work.
At the beginning of the academic year, it is recommended that each department and program have a conversation about assessment, informed by the previous year’s report. During this meeting the department or program should discuss its assessment plan and how it will be carried out for the year. Each department and program should review the feedback from the assessment staff about the previous year’s report, and incorporate the suggestions into its work for the current year.
Annually, all academic departments/programs will report the assessment activities their unit completed for the previous academic year (i.e., outcomes, measures, and results) by June 30.
Assessment in the Classroom
Faculty have a range of opportunities to improve and implement effective evidence-based teaching practices, provided in large part by the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), the Center for Engaged Learning (CEL), and the Instructional Technology Development Program (ITDP). Feedback on teaching is provided variously through mid-semester assessments, peer teaching evaluations (in accordance with department/program policies), course design/re-design workshops, and student course ratings.