University Assessment Plan

Overview

The select mission of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is to “provide an interdisciplinary, problem-focused educational experience that prepares students to think critically and address complex issues in a multicultural and evolving world. The University enriches the quality of life for students and the community by embracing the educational value of diversity, promoting environmental sustainability, encouraging engaged citizenship, and serving as an intellectual, cultural and economic resource” (approved by the UW System Board of Regents, September 2007). In order to ensure that the educational experiences, programs and learning environment provided to students at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay are aligned with the institution’s select mission, as well as with the UW System mission and the core mission of the University Cluster of the University of Wisconsin System (found in Appendices A and B), the University Plan for the Continuous Assessment of Student Learning was developed.  
The following principles of assessment guided the development of the plan:

  • Meaningful assessment recognizes the developmental nature of student learning, and thus involves the use of multiple measures conducted at significant time points during a student’s academic career, in order to ensure the progressive acquisition of the knowledge and skills expected of a UW-Green Bay graduate.
  • Campus-wide coordination of university assessment efforts is essential for ensuring that all students, regardless of academic program, have acquired a set of minimum competencies (e.g., in writing and information literacy) upon completion of their degree.
  • Program-specific assessment of student learning is vital for ensuring that students acquire the knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and habits of mind that faculty intend to cultivate within their discipline(s).
  • Assessment is most effective at improving programs when those programs have clear, measurable goals that are in line with the institution’s mission and with faculty’s intentions for their program.
  • Effective assessment is ongoing and conducted with an eye toward continuous improvement, as the institution regularly monitors progress toward intended goals and refines approaches when warranted.
  • Student learning is a campus-wide responsibility, and thus meaningful assessment involves the collaboration of individuals representing multiple facets of the educational community, including (but not limited to) the faculty, librarians, and staff within Student Life.
  • Assessment works best when it addresses questions that are meaningful specifically to our institution.

With these guiding principles in mind, the University Plan for the Continuous Assessment of Student Learning will focus assessment efforts on four specific areas within the educational community at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. These areas include:

  • Academic Programs. Assessment of program-specific student learning outcomes – with an eye toward continual curricular improvement - will be conducted as part of each undergraduate and graduate program’s seven year review cycle.
  • General Education.  Systematic inquiry into student learning will take place within the context of the general education curriculum, in order to ensure that this common educational experience continues to effectively address our institution’s select mission.
  • Co-curricular Programs and Resources. Regular assessment of academic- and student-support services will take place in order to identify the most effective approaches to supporting student learning on our campus.
  • Innovations in Teaching and Learning. UW-Green Bay has a history and national reputation for innovative pedagogical approaches, and thus it is fitting that our institution’s assessment plan documents the impact of these unique innovations on students’ educational experience.  

Assessment Process

Assessment practices for all four areas within the educational community at UW – Green Bay (Academic Programs, General Education, Co-curricular Programs and Resources, and Innovations in Teaching and Learning) are based on a five component assessment cycle that has the continuous goal of improving measurable outcomes. These components of the assessment cycle include:

  • identifying outcomes
  • establishing methodologies to assess the achievement of outcomes
  • gathering and analyzing the evidence with the methodologies
  • sharing the results of the analysis, and
  • making evidence-based improvements as needed.

All components of the assessment cycle should be reflected in the Assessment Plans for each area of the university. Improvements may not be needed if evidence confirms that outcomes have been achieved.

Area 1: Academic Programs

Overview
Faculty in the programs are the most qualified to determine what the learning outcomes for students in their programs should be, and therefore are the most qualified to determine how to assess if those outcomes are being met.
Each academic program is required to have an approved Assessment Plan as part of the seven-year program review. Annually each program will submit an Update on assessment and in year four of the cycle they are required to submit a Status Report.
Each Assessment Plan includes:

  • the identification of student learning outcomes;
  • an explanation of the direct and indirect methods used to assess the outcomes;
  • a timeline for the implementation of the methods;
  • the identification of those responsible for coordinating data collection

Each Annual Update includes:

  • findings from assessment activities conducted during the current year
  • outcomes assessed by assessment activities
  • actions taken on findings
  • plans for changes and follow-up

Each Status Report includes:

  • a description of the findings from assessment data;
  • the conclusions drawn from the findings (e.g., does the evidence support students’ attainment of the outcomes, or does it indicate the need for change to improve outcomes?);
  • plans for changes to improve outcomes, if needed;
  • the identifications of gaps in data, if appropriate

Guidelines for Assessing Academic Programs
Undergraduate and graduate programs are required to submit a copy of their Assessment Plans, Annual Updates, and Status Reports to the University Assessment Council (UAC) through the appropriate college dean according to the schedule provided below. The UAC will review the report and, if necessary, make recommendations for changes in the program’s reported set of assessment activities to ensure that sufficient evidence of student outcomes are included. The program may consult with the Council and revise the schedule of activities, as needed.
A program’s Assessment Plan should have the following components:

  • Student Learning Outcomes. A list of specific student learning outcomes unique to each program. What do you expect all students to know or be able to do?
  • Relationship to Mission.  Indicate how the program’s student learning outcomes relate to UW-Green Bay’s Mission Level Learning Outcomes (MLLO).     
  • Methods. Describe all of the methods used to assess the identified student learning outcomes. This should include an explanation of how evidence/information/data are gathered, including systematic methods for gathering quantitative and/or qualitative data as well as anecdotal information. Clearly indicate which outcome or outcomes each method addresses. All outcomes should be assessed by at least one direct method.
  • Evidence. The information/data gathered through the program’s assessment activities that show the extent to which learning outcomes are being met. Please report data by outcome.
  • Use of Results. A description of how the evidence that has been gathered is used systematically to make a determination that the students are achieving the learning outcomes at an appropriate level and/or to make programmatic improvements.
  • Further Information Needed. An analysis of results to uncover gaps in current information/data or problematic findings that indicate a need for further study.
  • Timeline. A timeline for collection additional information.
 

Coordinated Cycle for Program Review and Program Assessment

Timeline

Activities

Year 1
(following program review)

Continue to implement assessment program and review the information/data from assessment activities. Make evidence-based decisions concerning students’ attainment of the learning outcomes.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to University Assessment Council.

Year 2
(five years prior to program review)

Continue to gather evidence on how students are attaining learning outcomes and conduct a thorough review of each assessment program using the Assessment Program Evaluation Rubric as a guide. Modify assessment program if needed. Begin drafting Status Report to UAP.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to University Assessment Council.

Year 3
(four years prior to program review)

Continue to gather evidence on students’ attainment of learning outcomes, and review the information/data from assessment activities. Make evidence-based decisions concerning student’s attainment of the learning outcomes.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to University Assessment Council.

Year 4
(three years prior to program review)

Status Report. Submit current Assessment Plan and Status Report on the finding from assessment activities and how the results from assessment activities were used for decision making. The UAC will provide feedback to the program.

Submit Status Report to University Assessment Council.

Year 5
(two years prior to program review)

Continue to gather evidence on how it is meeting its objectives and to make comparisons of the findings from the evidence collected since the program review. Make evidence-based decisions concerning students’ attainment of the learning outcomes.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to University Assessment Council.

Year 6
(one year prior to program review)

Begin preparation of program review documents, including the programs complete Assessment Plan and any changes to the program student learning outcomes.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to University Assessment Council.

Year 7
(program review completed)

Program Review submitted to Academic Dean.
The program review includes a self-study report, complete Assessment Plan, and supporting data and documentation. (See the Program Review Procedures for full details.)

Submit Program Assessment Plan to University Assessment Council.

 

Area 2: GENERAL EDUCATION

Overview

Regular, continued assessment of learning student outcomes within the General Education Program ensures that all UW-Green Bay students achieve the following three overarching degree level competencies (in addition to discipline-specific, content-based competencies) upon graduation:

  • the ability to communicate effectively through listening, speaking, reading, writing, and the use of computers;
  • the ability to think critically; and
  • the ability to exercise problem-solving skills – such as problem identification and analysis, and solution formulation, implementation, and assessment – using an integrated interdisciplinary focus.

The General Education Council is responsible “for curriculum development and regular course review” within UW-Green Bay’s General Education Program (UW-Green Bay Faculty Handbook, 54.03C). Thus, the General Education Council will coordinate the assessment of General Education according to a seven year cycle (outlined below), which includes Annual Updates, a Status Report (during year 4 of the cycle), and an Assessment Plan Report (during year 7) to be reviewed by the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the University Assessment Council.
Each Annual Update on General Education includes:

  • findings from assessment activities conducted during the current year;
  • outcomes assessed by assessment activities;
  • actions taken on findings; and
  • plans for changes and follow-up.

Each Status Report (submitted during year 4) on General Education includes:

  • a description of the findings from assessment data;
  • the conclusions drawn from the findings (e.g., does the evidence support students’ attainment of the outcomes, or does it indicate the need for change to improve outcomes?);
  • plans for changes to improve outcomes, if needed; and
  • the identifications of gaps in data, if appropriate.

Guidelines for Assessing General Education

The General Education Council is to submit a copy of their Assessment Plans, Annual Updates, and Status Reports to the University Assessment Council (UAC) through the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences according to the schedule provided below. The UAC will review the report and, if necessary, make recommendations for changes in the General Education Program’s reported set of assessment activities to ensure that sufficient evidence of student outcomes are included. The General Education Council may consult with the Council and revise the schedule of activities, as needed.
The General Education Assessment Plan should have the following components:

  • Student Learning Outcomes. A list of the current General Education student learning outcomes (both content- and skills-based outcomes). What do we expect all students to know or be able to do by the time they receive their degree from UW-Green Bay?
  • Relationship to Mission.  Indicate how General Education’s student learning outcomes relate to UW-Green Bay’s Mission Level Learning Outcomes (MLLO).     
  • Methods. Describe all of the methods used to assess the identified student learning outcomes. This should include an explanation of how evidence/information/data are gathered, including systematic methods for gathering quantitative and/or qualitative data as well as anecdotal information. Clearly indicate which outcome or outcomes each method addresses. All outcomes should be assessed by at least one direct method.
  • Evidence. The information/data gathered through General Education’s assessment activities that show the extent to which learning outcomes are being met. Please report data by outcome.
  • Use of Results. A description of how the evidence that has been gathered is used systematically to make a determination that the students are achieving the learning outcomes at an appropriate level and/or to make General Education improvements.
  • Further Information Needed. An analysis of results to uncover gaps in current information/data or problematic findings that indicate a need for further study.
  • Timeline. A timeline for collection additional information.


REVIEW SCHEDULE FOR GENERAL EDUCATION

Timeline

Activities

Year 1
(six years prior to Assessment Plan Report)

The General Education Council will begin cycle by reviewing its student learning outcomes and determining the appropriate methods to document success in meeting objectives. The Council should begin or continue to collect longitudinal evidence to demonstrate that objectives are being met.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to the Dean of LAS and the UAC

Year 2 and 3
(five and four years prior to Assessment Plan Report)

GEC will continue to gather evidence of outcomes and refine assessment activities to insure that all outcomes are supported by evidence.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to the Dean of LAS and the UAC

Year 4
(one year prior to Assessment Plan Report)

During this year the GEC will provide an Update report on its seven-year cycle of assessment activities. This Update will include where the GEC stands on its assessment timeline, a Status Report of the data gathered and improvements made to date, and further information needed to be obtained before full plan is due in year seven.

Status Report on Assessment Plan to the Dean of LAS and the UAC

Year 5 and 6
(two and one year prior to Assessment Plan Report)

The GEC will continue to gather evidence of outcomes and refine assessment activities to insure that all outcomes are supported by evidence.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to Dean of LAS and the UAC

Year 7
(Assessment Plan Report)

During this year the GEC will provide complete its Assessment Plan Report, including a program history, mission / goals / objectives, methods used, evidence from analysis of findings, use of results, and further information needed.

Submit complete Assessment Plan Report to the Dean of LAS and the UAC

Area 3: Co-Curricular Programs and resources

Overview
For assessment in the academic- and student-support divisions, the focus is at the department level, where the staff determines the outcomes for the services they provide, develops the programmatic initiatives for the services they provide, and develops the programmatic initiatives in their units.
Each Assessment Plan includes:

  • the identification of objectives/outcomes;
  • an explanation of the direct and indirect methods used to evaluate the achievement of the outcomes;
  • a description of which methods are used to assess each of the outcomes;
  • a timeline for the implementation of the methods;
  • the identification of the individual(s) responsible for coordinating data collection

Each Status Report includes:

  • a description of findings from assessment data;
  • the conclusions drawn from the findings indicating that the evidence supports attainment of the outcome(s) or the need for changes to improve outcomes;
  • plans for changes to improve outcomes, if needed;
  • the identification of gaps in data, if appropriate.

Guidelines for Assessing Co-Curricular Programs and Resources

Divisions that provide academic- and student-support services are central to student success in the university and play a crucial part in the delivery of academic programs. Therefore, it is important that these units and departments also engage in the assessment process to demonstrate the quality of services; to identify ways to improve services; and to record improvements. The evidence that is compiled through assessment will assist the university in demonstrating accountability to its internal and external audiences.
Divisions that provide academic- and student- support services are required to submit a copy of their Assessment Plans, Annual Updates, and Status Reports to the University Assessment Council (UAC) through their appropriate Division Leader according to the schedule provided below. The UAC will review the report and, if necessary, make recommendations for changes in the divisions reported set of assessment activities to insure that sufficient evidence of outcomes is included.
A division’s Assessment Plan should have the following components:

  • History. A brief history of the unit/department which provides a solid contextual background in which to understand the mission of the unit and the information in the assessment report.
  • Mission, Goals, and Objectives. A stated mission which is logically linked to the goals and objectives (stated as outcomes) unique to each unit/department. Some outcomes will be student learning outcomes while others will be related to program effectiveness. Objectives should include stated targets for performance.
  • Methods. Describe all of the methods used to gather evidence used in determining if the outcomes are being met, including systematic methods for gathering quantitative and/or qualitative data as well as anecdotal information, with a clear indication of which outcome or outcomes each method addresses.
  • Evidence. The information gathered through the unit/department’s assessment activities that show the extent to which outcomes are being met and indicate which data address which objective.
  • Use of Results. Describe how the evidence that has been gathered is used systematically to make programmatic improvements and how the results could answer questions about how the unit/department relates to the institutional mission.
  • Further Information Needed and Timeline. An analysis of results to uncover gaps in current information or problematic findings that indicate a need for further assessment. A timeline for collecting additional information is presented.


REVIEW SCHEDULE FOR CO-CURRICULAR PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES

Divisions that provide academic- and student-support services are required to complete a full Assessment Plan every seven (7) years, with a Status Report being due in year four (4) of the cycle.
Divisions may find it is more beneficial to write Assessment Plans and reports by department. Departmental Assessment Plans and reports are acceptable to the UAC, so long as these reports follow the same procedures as outlined below. If completing departmental level plans, a division may also work with the UAC to create a staggered timeline, keeping from having all departments due in the same year.

Timeline

Activities

Year 1
(six years prior to Assessment Plan Report)

Divisions will begin cycle by reviewing its assessment programs for clarity of program objectives and appropriate methods to document success in meeting objectives. The division should begin or continue to collect longitudinal evidence to demonstrate that objectives are being met.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to University Assessment Council.

Year 2 and 3
(five and four years prior to Assessment Plan Report)

Division will continue to gather evidence of outcomes and refine assessment activities to insure that all department or unit objectives are supported by evidence.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to University Assessment Council.

Year 4
(one years prior to Assessment Plan Report)

During this year the division will provide an Update report on its seven-year cycle of assessment activities. This Update will include where the division stands on its assessment timeline, a Status Report of the data gathered and improvements made to date, and further information needed to be obtained before full plan is due in year seven.

Status Report to UAC on Assessment Plan

Year 5 and 6
(two and one years prior to Assessment Plan Report)

Division will continue to gather evidence of outcomes and refine assessment activities to insure that all department or unit objectives are supported by evidence.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to University Assessment Council.

Year 7
(Assessment Plan Report)

During this year the unit or department will provide complete Assessment Plan Report, including a program history, mission / goals / objectives, methods used, evidence from analysis of findings, use of results, and further information needed.

Submit complete Assessment Plan Report to UAC

Area 4: Innovations in teaching and learning

Overview

Since its inception, the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay has had a culture that fosters innovative approaches to teaching and learning, in large part due to the unique principles upon which the university was founded (interdisciplinarity; problem-focused education). This culture has produced a rich learning environment for students, cultivated by faculty who are recognized internationally for their expertise in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

In order to recognize the significant, positive impact of these teaching innovations on student learning – as well as to ensure continuation of those efforts that perpetuate a culture of innovation – regular assessment of campus teaching and learning initiatives will be conducted. The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL), in collaboration with the Instructional Development Council (IDC), will be responsible for conducting regular reviews, which include Annual Updates, a Status Report (during year 4 of the 7 year cycle) and an Assessment Plan Report (during year 7) to be reviewed by the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the University Assessment Council.
Each Annual Update on Innovations in Teaching and Learning includes:

  • findings from assessment activities conducted during the current year;
  • outcomes assessed by assessment activities;
  • actions taken on findings; and
  • plans for changes and follow-up.

Each Status Report (submitted during year 4) on Innovations in Teaching and Learning includes:

  • a description of the findings from assessment data;
  • the conclusions drawn from the findings (e.g., does the evidence support attainment of the outcomes, or does it indicate the need for change to improve outcomes?);
  • plans for changes to improve outcomes, if needed; and
  • the identifications of gaps in data, if appropriate.

Guidelines for Assessing Innovations in Teaching and Learning

CATL is to submit a copy of their Assessment Plans, Annual Updates, and Status Reports to the University Assessment Council (UAC) through the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences according to the schedule provided below. The UAC will review the report and, if necessary, make recommendations for changes in the reported set of assessment activities to ensure that sufficient evidence of teaching and learning outcomes are included. CATL may consult with the Council and revise the schedule of activities, as needed.
The Innovations in Teaching and Learning Assessment Plan should have the following components:

  • Teaching and Learning Outcomes. A list of the intended outcomes for teaching and learning initiatives on our campus. How do we expect these outcomes to affect the teaching and learning environment for faculty and students at UW-Green Bay?
  • Relationship to Mission.  Indicate how the outcomes identified for Innovations in Teaching and Learning relate to UW-Green Bay’s Mission Level Learning Outcomes (MLLO).     
  • Methods. Describe all of the methods used to assess the identified outcomes. This should include an explanation of how evidence/information/data are gathered, including systematic methods for gathering quantitative and/or qualitative data as well as anecdotal information. Clearly indicate which outcome or outcomes each method addresses.
  • Evidence. The information/data gathered through assessment activities that show the extent to which outcomes for Innovations in Teaching and Learning are being met. Please report data by outcome.
  • Use of Results. A description of how the evidence that has been gathered is used to make a determination that CATL- and IDC-sponsored programs are achieving their identified outcomes at an appropriate level and/or to make improvements in teaching and learning initiatives on our campus.
  • Further Information Needed. An analysis of results to uncover gaps in current information/data or problematic findings that indicate a need for further study.
  • Timeline. A timeline for collection of additional information.
 

REVIEW SCHEDULE FOR INNOVATIONS IN TEACHING AND LEARNING
CATL is required to complete a full Assessment Plan every seven (7) years, with a Status Report being due in year four (4) of the cycle.

Timeline

Activities

Year 1
(six years prior to Assessment Plan Report)

CATL and IDC will begin the cycle by reviewing its assessment programs for clarity of program objectives and appropriate methods to document success in meeting objectives. Begin or continue to collect longitudinal evidence to demonstrate that objectives are being met.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to University Assessment Council.

Year 2 and 3
(five and four years prior to Assessment Plan Report)

CATL and IDC will continue to gather evidence of outcomes and refine assessment activities to insure that all objectives are supported by evidence.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to University Assessment Council.

Year 4
(one years prior to Assessment Plan Report)

During this year CATL will provide an Update report on its seven-year cycle of assessment activities. This Update will include where CATL stands on its assessment timeline, a Status Report of the data gathered and improvements made to date, and further information needed to be obtained before full plan is due in year seven.

Status Report to UAC on Assessment Plan

Year 5 and 6
(two and one years prior to Assessment Plan Report)

CATL and IDC will continue to gather evidence of outcomes and refine assessment activities to insure that all objectives are supported by evidence.

Submit Annual Assessment Report to University Assessment Council.

Year 7
(Assessment Plan Report)

During this year CATL and the IDC will provide complete Assessment Plan Report, including a program history, mission / goals / objectives, methods used, evidence from analysis of findings, use of results, and further information needed.

Submit complete Assessment Plan Report to UAC

 

Coordination in Assessing Student Learning

The University Assessment Council

  1. The University Assessment Council is advisory to the Provost and Vice Chancellor and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and her/his designee and serves the following functions:
    1. Guides UW-Green Bay’s reaccreditation process including
      • regularly communicating to the university community regarding Higher Learning Commission (HLC) related activities;
      • providing advice related to the University's efforts to document compliance with the HLC Assurance and Quality Improvement components of the new accreditation process;
      • and preparing and planning for the HLC site visits.
    2. Develops and monitors the implementation of the University's Assessment Plan.
    3. Promotes and supports the institution-wide assessment activities related to the assessment of student learning outcomes, particularly in the context of the seven-year academic program review cycle.
    4. Integrates all assessment activities carried out by academic programs, student affairs and other support areas.
    5. Provides advice on assessment related issues.
  2. The University Assessment Council shall be composed of sixteen (16) appointed members including the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs (Chair), the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Professional Development and Grants and Director of Graduate Studies, and representatives from each of the colleges, Outreach and Adult Access, Student Services, , Enrollment Services, the Library, Student Government, the Academic Affairs Council, the Graduate Studies Council, and the General Education Council, and two faculty members with experience and/or interest in assessment methods. The Coordinator of Assessment and Testing Services and the Director of Institutional Research will serve as ex officio, nonvoting members.
  3. Appointment of representatives is the responsibility of the respective division head.
  4. Nomination of faculty candidates for appointment to the University Assessment Council is the responsibility of the Committee on Committees and Nominations. Appointments are made annually by the Provost. Faculty members serve three-year staggered terms to ensure continuity.
  5. The University Assessment Council shall appoint an Academic Program Assessment Subcommittee (APAS) for the purpose of reviewing the Annual Assessment Reports submitted by the academic programs. The APAS will meet on a regular basis and provide feedback and recommendations to the chairs of the academic programs. In addition, the APAS will submit an annual report to the UAC.  The APAS will consist of  four faculty members (one from each domain) with experience and/or interest in assessment, two graduate faculty members with experience and/o interest in assessment, the Dean or Associate Dean of each college, and the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs (Chair)
  6. The chair of the Council must submit a report of its activities at the end of each academic year to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Secretary of the Faculty and Academic Staff.
 

Last revised  September 10, 2015