The Office of Assessment and Review works with departments and programs to assess degree and certificate programs and courses in the core curriculum for the purpose of maximizing student learning.
The OIE assessment site provides a wealth of resources for colleagues with responsibilities for assessing student learning outcomes (SLOs). The site offers instructions to navigate the assessment process, samples of exemplary reports, Taskstream training videos, etc.
Before beginning the assessment process, we encourage users to take advantage of the following resources:
Our office consults with faculty and departments to:
- Develop or revise elements of your assessment plan
- Design effective assignments and rubrics for assessment
- Analyze assessment data
- Use assessment results to inform curricular decisions
- Support annual reporting of assessment results
GSU assesses student learning on an annual basis in all undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree and certificate programs as well as in the General Education (core curriculum) programs. Faculty play a central role in all aspects of the assessment process: the establishment of student learning outcomes, the development of assessment plans, the implementation of those plans, assessment reporting, the review of assessment reports, and the use of assessment findings to improve educational programs and student learning.
The assessment process begins at the department level. Each department designates an assessment coordinator for each degree and certificate program; assessment coordinators are also designated for courses in the core curriculum in those departments that contribute to the General Education program. The coordinators are responsible for ensuring that assessment is conducted in each program, collecting the findings of the assessments, coordinating faculty discussion and decision-making with regard to the assessment process and findings, and submitting an annual assessment report for each program.
Assessment in this context is the systematic collection, review, and use of information about student learning for the purpose of continually improving student learning and overall program effectiveness
Characteristics of effective assessment include:
- Focused: it keeps the attention on student learning
- Prioritized: it doesn’t try to solve all problems at once
- Explicit: it sets clear and measurable expectations
- Meaningful: it can contribute to program improvement
- Manageable: it can be performed with limited resources
Effective assessment can have multiple benefits. First and most importantly, it can help us to improve our academic programs, teaching, and, ultimately, student learning. Second, it can facilitate accountability by demonstrating the effectiveness of our educational programs – and our commitment to improving them — to accrediting agencies, oversight bodies, funding sources, potential students and faculty and other stakeholders.
Assessment can be helpful in a variety of settings. Within the academic context, assessment can be conducted at multiple levels:
- University: General Education
- Department: Academic Program Review
- Educational Program (degrees and certificates)
- Individual Courses
The focus of this website, however, is assessment of student learning at the level of the educational program.
Effective assessment involves the following seven steps:
- Clarifying the mission and goals of your educational program
- Writing meaningful student learning outcomes
- Ensuring that students have sufficient learning opportunities
- Choosing appropriate assessment tools and methods
- Setting challenging but reasonable targets
- Collecting and analyzing evidence of student learning
- Using the results of assessment for program improvement