The assessment of student learning looks at both creating effective evaluation schemes as well as providing effective feedback to students on their learning.
This page has information on:
The most fundamental question that an assessment effort seeks to answer, whether on the course-level or program-level is: are your students learning what you intend? Assessment is therefore focused on learning outcomes and looks at teaching and decisions that teachers make as contributions to student learning. Analysis of assessment methods already being used can help determine whether those methods capture the kind of evidence necessary to validly and effectively determine the degree to which the instructional approach and program curriculum are successful in achieving their intended goals and producing graduates with the kind of knowledge and skills necessary for success.
This guide is meant to assist faculty and administrators engage in systematic assessment on two levels:
- Course-Level: Instructors who are looking at assessment of student learning at the course-level
Course-Level Assessment Guide for Instructors
- departments that are assessing their program’s effectiveness at generating the kinds of abilities and skills in their graduates they intend
Program-Level Assessment Guide for Administrators
Examples of assessment plans, reports, and resources from other institutions are identified below:
Overview of Graduate Program Assessment
This document provides an overview of the components of an assessment plan and outlines considerations when developing learning outcomes and identifying the evidence that will be used to demonstrate achievement of the outcomes. It also discusses “closing the loop,” which involves determining a method of collecting, sharing and discussing data and action items (who, when, how). This can be used in conjunction with the “Program level assessment matrix” below.
Program Level Assessment Matrix
This is one example of a matrix that can be helpful where the learning outcomes are aligned with learning opportunities and information on the evidence that will be used to determine student achievement of learning outcomes.
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Action Verbs
Action verbs are verbs that result in overt behavior that can be observed and measured. They are helpful when developing learning outcomes.
Measures and Assessment Methods
These are some examples of assessment methods at the graduate level that are commonly used to evaluate and measure student learning and the achievement of learning outcomes.
Cornell University's Graduate School - Learning Assessment
The Graduate School website contains information on the learning proficiencies of masters and doctoral candidates, example outcomes and assessment metrics at the graduate level, and sample rubric for evaluation of PhD student progress. Examples of assessment plans at the graduate level can be found on the following web pages:
Cornell University's Office of the Provost - Assessment of Student Learning
Additional resources on assessment are available on the Provost’s webpage.
We provide hands-on faculty working sessions on learning outcomes and assessment. For more information on the working sessions currently offered, please visit our Assessment Working Sessions page.