Program Assessment

Assessment of student learning is an iterative inquiry process that aims to understand and improve the effectiveness of degree programs. Assessment activities include articulating program goals and learning objectives, improving curricula, advancing initiatives to enhance student learning and success, and developing programs in ways that support your unit's and the university's strategic priorities

The goal of assessment is to track and improve student learning and experiences in our academic programs. You can find examples of the types of improvement that comes from assessment efforts as UO departments close the assessment "loop." 

Optional Assessment Guides

This year, we have introduced assessment guides that simplify the process and focus on topical areas for curricular improvement. Programs can choose to use these templates or continue with their existing assessment plans.

 

Assessment Reports and Submission Schedule

Each undergraduate major and graduate program submits an annual assessment report documenting their work to enhance student learning and success. Starting in 2021, assessment reports have been collected each spring term on the work done. These reports allow UO to track faculty assessment practices and resulting actions to make changes across the curriculum, and to report on those to our regional accreditor, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Annual assessment reports for undergraduate majors and graduate programs are due May 20, 2022. **Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences should submit  annual assessment report to casdean@uoregon.edu by May 2, 2022**

Undergraduate Major Assessment

Reports may include any assessment activities in your unit since your last report was submitted. Going forward, reports will be due in Spring Term each academic year.
 

Resources:

Guidelines for Undergraduate Assessment
Assessment Report Template

Graduate Program Assessment

Reports may include any assessment activities in your unit since your last report was submitted. Going forward, reports will be due in Spring Term each academic year.

 

Resources:

Guidelines for Graduate Assessment
Assessment Report Template

 

 

Making Assessment Meaningful

Academic units should approach assessment as an opportunity to collect information on things you and your colleagues care about and that you want to make better decisions about. Assessment activities should be faculty driven, and yield results of interest to your faculty. If assessment efforts are not yielding information useful to your faculty, shift to a different approach or revisit your goals. 

Assessment is not merely a compliance activity. The measure of success is whether your unit finds the process meaningful and is taking action to improve based on your assessment activities. 

 

Principles of meaningful assessment:

Assessment must be linked to what faculty care about in order to be useful.

Assessment practices belong to faculty, just as the curriculum does. Assessment projects should reflect the goals and values that faculty have for student learning. To make assessment meaningful in your unit, focus your assessment time on goals and objectives that faculty truly care about. 

Assessment addresses outcomes as well as the processes that lead to them (both Teaching and Learning)

Assessment asks the question, "Does our program, as a whole, add up to what we intend for students?" Assessing the outcomes--and the processes that lead to those outcomes--are valuable approaches. 

Effective assessment is ongoing and systematic.

Assessment efforts are most effective when they are deliberately mapped across multiple years. Many assessment efforts lead to adjustments of teaching methods and changes to assignments or curriculum that can take multiple terms or even years to result in the changes you are hoping for. Many changes to student learning and development need to be tracked over time, and one-shot assessment would not accurately show the changes/impacts we would hope to see.

The result of assessment is action, not data.

The goal of assessment is to improve student learning in your programs--a goal which requires action! What next steps can you reasonably take to improve student learning with what evidence you have gathered from your assessment projects?

 

Please contact Austin Hocker, the Assistant Director for Research and Assessment, at ahocker@uoregon.edu with any questions or to schedule a consultation to support your unit’s assessment work.