The final stage of the assessment cycle, the so-called “Closing the Loop” phase, involves using the assessment results (as well as the discussions with stakeholders) to formulate specific recommendations, changes and actions you will undertake to improve your program or services.
Closing the loop does not suggest that all assessments will require changes. If a goal/expected outcome is achieved to a satisfactory level, as established by the program, future assessments may focus on selecting another outcome for investigation. Over the course of several years, all Goal/EO’s should be assessed at least once, but all do not need to be assessed at the same time.
On the other hand, if the analyses and subsequent discussions suggest that an outcome is not being met, changes or improvement actions should be planned for the subsequent year(s) and assessment data collected to determine whether the implemented changes were impactful in improving your program or services. Expected outcomes should continue to be assessed and improved until the “loop is closed.”
Examples: Closing the Loop
Example 1. Alumni Office
“Based on the results of our analysis showing a decline in giving by alumni who had been out less than 5 years, a new campaign to communicate to recent graduates the benefits of giving was developed and implemented in July 2017. Since then, the number of donors from this population increased by 20%, exceeding our target.”
Example 2. STEM Program
“Additional workshops on student support services have been added in response to our survey results indicating that there are 60% of our STEM students were unaware of all the different student support services they can benefit from. Career Services department and faculty advisors added information to the new STEM student orientation program about the help they provide for STEM students.”