A systematic process that is applicable for all outcomes assessments….
Outcomes assessment makes us seriously ask whether our undergraduates are actually learning what we are teaching. -Gerald Graff (2010)
At BCC all CUNY Pathways courses, academic programs, and student-success programs have student learning outcomes or SLOs. These outcomes are the skills and/or knowledge students are expected to master and to demonstrate.
Once SLOs have been established, the instructor does what he/she does best: Teach. However, to make sure students are achieving the SLO’s, instructors, ever mindful of the need to assess student work, develop an assessment vehicle (test, performance, prompts for an essay, short-answer questions, etc.,) and an assessment tool (embedded questions, rubric, video recording) to measure a student’s engagement with the outcomes.
The data derived from the rubrics or embedded questions or other tools remain only numbers or words on a page until it is analyzed against the backdrop of the Student Learning Outcomes. Data then becomes information and provides opportunities for discussion among colleagues and departments.
The crucial step in the assessment process: What does the information tellyou? Which SLO’s are being met? Which are not? Does the data suggest a way to proceed? Where does the program or course need attention? We answer these questions and then make changes for improved student learning. Having come full circle, the process begins again.