Outcomes process logo

The Process

You're Already Doing Assessment 

Assessment is a natural part of faculty and student service work. We are simply asking what did a student learn, experience, or can now do as a result of a course or student service. Assessment is simply looking for evidence that supports those claims. The 4 Step Assessment Process outlined below is a simple process that can be used to collect, reflect and act on data related to Student Learning Outcomes (SLO). This process ensures regular and ongoing assessment of SLOs. The Outcomes Committee chose the wheel on the right as our logo to represent this process as an ongoing process of continual growth and improvement. The key is to embrace and enjoy this process. 

Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

    • 1Step 1: Assess and Reflect

      Where are we currently?  This is the initial gathering of data related to course SLOs, PLOs or student service. Direct assessments and indirect assessments can be used to collect data on students’ achievement and attitudes toward their learning. 

      Direct assessment refers to any method of collecting data that requires students to demonstrate a knowledge, skill, or behavior.  This includes any course assignment or activity. Examples of direct assessments are: 

      • Performance assessments 
      • Essays 
      • Research papers 
      • Problem sets 
      • Oral examinations 
      • Objective tests 
      • Portfolios 
      • Lab Reports

      Indirect assessments ask students to reflect on their learning and are a great way to add the student voice to the assessment of SLOs.  Examples of indirect assessments are: 

      • Reflective statements 
      • Surveys 
      • Interviews 
      • Focus groups 
      • Discussion

      To help turn assessment results into actions, faculty need to take time to reflect on this information.  First reflect individually.  The answers to the following questions can help you with this process: 

      • Where did students in your course do well?  
      • What can we celebrate?  
      • Where is their room for improvement?  
      • What can be done differently next time that will impact student success?  

      Data coaches can help you pull additional data to reflect on as well. 

    • 2Step 2: Collaborate and Act

      Now it is time to think out loud with others and collectively reflect on the data you have collected. Be sure to include adjunct faculty and encourage a variety of viewpoints.  Sort through information, reflections and share ideas. Answer the question So what? or What now? There are different ways in which your department can collaborate: 

      • Department meeting(s) 
      • Emails with shared links to data results and faculty reflections with a way to provide feedback 

      Outcomes Coordinators can help facilitate this process for your department. 


      The purpose of assessment is to identify at least one action item to implement to improve student learning. Even if the outcome was achieved, find a specific item where improvement can be made.  Your action plan should include, anticipated changes or improvements and timeline of implementation.  Here are some example actions to take: 

      • Change the timing of a topic within the course or program 
      • Change the amount of time devoted to that topic 
      • Change the instructional method 
      • Change the curriculum 
    • 3Step 3: Compare and Reflect

      This is second round of data collection. This can be done the following semester or even the following year using direct and indirect assessments (See Step 1). Compare data to see how action affected student learning. 


      Again, spend time reflecting individually on the results of your direct and indirect assessments. Look specifically at how your action affected your assessments this time.  The answers to the following questions can help you with this process: 

      • Did the action have the expected outcome?  Why or why not? 
      • Can you identify any trends?
      • Where did students in your course do well? 
      • What can we celebrate? 
      • Where is their room for improvement? 
      • Now what? 


    • 4Step 4: Collaborate and Act and Report

      Once again come together, as a group and collectively reflect on this second set of data you have collected.  Compare data from the first go round and identify any trends. 


      Now you have two sets of data that can be used to close the loop as well as direct curriculum review.  As a group, ask the question: What’s next? 

      • If you are satisfied with the results, choose another outcomes to assess next time or adjust the criteria for success. 
      • If you are not satisfied with the results, create a new action plan and reassess. 

      Nuventive Improve 

Cycle Options

Any of these are acceptable
    • 1 Year Cycle

      This cycle can be perfect for departments or programs making changes to see if desired improvement is taking place. Or if many sections are offered on a continuing basis, and data can be collected at any time.

      • All four steps completed in 1 school year.
      • Fall 2024 steps 1& 2
      • Spring 2025 Steps 3 & 4
      • Data from Summer or winter can be assessed as well. This provides ongoing information and up to 8 data sets for program review, curriculum review.
    • 2 Year Cycle

      This is a perfect cycle to match the 2 year student experience. It can be adjusted if courses are offered only in the Spring. 

      • Four steps spread out over 2 years or four semesters.
      • Steps 1 completed in Fall 2024.
      • Step 2 completed in Spring 2025
      • Step 3 completed Fall 2025
      • Step 4 completed Spring 26.
      This will provide at least 4 sets of data to help guide decisions in curriculum review and or program review.
    • 4 year Cycle

      This cycle can be used if there are a lot of outcomes to be assessed. Or there is some significant steps in the action, perhaps faculty or staff are completing training or attending seminars. After all this is done faculty can come together and collaborate and share what they learned.

      • Step 1 completed in 2024-2025 .
      • Step 2 completed in 2025-2026.
      • Step 3 completed in 2026-2027.
      • Step 4 completed in 2027-2028. 
      • This will provide 2 sets of data for consideration as curriculum review is due in year 5.