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The Education Research and Assessment Hub is dedicated to supporting University leadership, academic divisions, faculty, instructors and researchers.  We support the campus community through supporting and facilitating:

Assessment Definition

"Assessment is the systematic collection of information about student learning, using the time, knowledge, expertise, and resources available, in order to inform decisions that affect student learning." (Walvoord, 2010)

This definition is primarily applied to academic assessment, however, the same principles can be used for other types of assessment either in student affairs, program evaluation or education research. In general, assessment aims to address three major questions about our courses, programs, or activities:

  • What do we want to achieve?
  • How do we get there?
  • How do we know we did it?
Assessment moves beyond anecdotal evidence to systematic collection and examination of information to determine our progress toward a specific goal. Though assessment is often initiated or driven for accountability reasons, its primary and ultimate goal should always focus on evidence-based improvements.

Why do Assessment?

Assessment offers information, insights, and perspectives on what we do. It prompts us to intentionally align our efforts with our primary goals, provide guidelines in our planning process, and offer criteria and standards for us to make changes. Through the practice of assessment, we are better informed for the decisions we make for students we serve and the resources we utilize.  
Though the primary purpose of assessment is improvement, it is not the assessment itself that leads to improvement. Without actions taken based on assessment results, things will remain the same without further progress. It is critical to ask important assessment questions and use appropriate assessment methods to gather information that is actionable and useful.

What is the Difference Between Assessment and Evaluation? 



 Formative: ongoing, to improve learning  Summative: final, to gauge quality
 Process-oriented: test how learning is going  Product-oriented: what's being learned
 Diagnostic: identify areas for improvement  Judgmental: arrival at overall score or grade


In the Teaching + Learning Commons, we only do assessment.

What is an Assessment Review?

Assessment Review is the process by which the assessment reports of the programs, units, and divisions engaging in assessment documentation efforts are reviewed for quality.