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Assessment

The Education Research and Assessment Hub is dedicated to supporting faculty and staff on assessment practices and the use of assessment results to improve student learning and teaching effectiveness. The Hub also works in partnership with the Dean of Undergraduate Education on the university's regional accreditation

What Is Assessment?

"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)

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 Types of Assessment Do We Do?

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. 

What Is the Difference Between Assessment and Evaluation?

Assessment

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