What is outcomes assessment & why do it?

Assessment is the process of measuring the performance of an outcome and evaluating the resulting actionable data. In an educational setting, it is used for the improvement of teaching and learning or the delivery of services by stimulating meaningful dialogue among key stakeholders of the outcome being assessed when reflecting on data.

There are four overarching assessment principles that guide our activities:

    • Improve teaching and learning at the course, degree, and certificate level through intentional dialogue amongst practitioners
    • Create a collaborative, dynamic, and continuous process that engages faculty, students, and personnel to improve student success throughout the entire institution
    • Utilize assessment to improve from within while providing usable data that demonstrates this improvement to our community
    • Balance the assessment process between a meaningful and thoughtful practice, which is part of what educators do daily, and the needs of external compliance

Although the assessment process should be inclusive of all stakeholders, be they full-time or part-time employees, the process is not intended for use in the evaluation of the stakeholders themselves. Lastly, if departments have been unable to find meaning in the current process, they should:

    • Reconsider what they are doing
    • Ask new content questions that are essential to their area
    • Get additional support from the Outcomes Committee