Identify Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes
It will be difficult to assess your class or program if you do not know what you will be assessing. Objectives and outcomes should be specific, measurable, student-oriented, and related to the overall mission. The 5 Engaged Learning Goals are a good place to start. To help get started, ask “What do I hope for students to get out of this experience?” and “What do I want to know at the end of this experience?”
Your assessment plan will include a variety of measures, including qualitative and quantitative assessments. These measures should be well aligned with the objectives. Check out our collected instruments and measures list for examples of what have worked for others.
It is normal to iterate your assessment plan when it comes time for implementation. Ideally, pilot an assessment with a subset of students to help identify necessary adjustments to assessment measures. Documentation will be important here: e.g., who has participated, what data has been collected, what was the educational setting?
Clearly describe any results and relate results to the objectives and stated criteria for success. If analyzing pilot data, results should inform future iterations of the assessment.
Use and Disseminate Results
Use assessment results to inform future educational practice, and disseminate findings to stakeholders (e.g., faculty,administrators, students, etc.). It is normal for new questions to emerge at this stage, repeating the assessment life cycle.