Assessment is the process of systematically planning, implementing and evaluating instruction, student services and administrative services in order to make decisions that support and improve student learning.
There are many forms of assessment, and the measurement of learning outcomes is one approach. When learning about outcomes assessment much should seem familiar, as Southwestern College has been conducting various types of assessments since the institution’s inception.
Learning outcomes are simply goals. They state, specifically, the ends of a process (rather than the means) that should be met. They describe what students should be able to do after participating in a course, program or service from the college.
Assessment is an ongoing, cyclical process.
Although the term “assessment” has been used synonymously with “measurement,” they are not the same. The act of measuring an outcome is only one part of the assessment process.
The end result of assessment is to improve student learning and services. If action is not taken on the data collected then assessment process is incomplete and the collection of assessment data is futile. Please don’t waste time collecting information that will simply sit in a file, only assessment data that will be used should be collected.
The purpose of the assessment process is the improvement of courses, programs and services to improve student learning. According to Southwestern College Policy and Procedures 4350 (I will send you the .pdfs. Links to .pdfs will need to be created)
Assessment data cannot be used in the following ways:
Assessment data will be used to:
The assessment of outcomes falls under the category of “action research.” Its specific purpose is to inform and to improve practices. While the collection of data should be systematic and disciplined, its aim is not to collect empirical and generalizable data for controlled scientific inquiry. The data collected should be reliable enough so that your unit at SWC can make informed decisions, but does not need to be generalizable beyond your area or our campus.
With the improved organizational structure at SWC, data from outcomes assessment is now integrated into all decision-making processes on campus including decisions regarding budget, technology, allocation of space, and hiring. The reporting of outcomes assessment has become an integral part of Program Review.
For more detail, please refer to: