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Assessment Resources

Components of a Program Assessment Plan - each assessment plan includes:

  • The identification of objectives / student learning outcomes;
  • An explanation of the direct and indirect methods used to evaluate the achievement of the objectives / student learning outcomes;
  • A description of the methods used to assess each of the objectives / students learning outcomes;
  • A timeline for implementation of the methods; and
  • The identification of the individual(s) responsible for coordinating data collection.

Developing Student Learning Outcomes

Developing student learning outcomes (SLOs) is an important first step for academic programs to gain a sense of the impact of their curriculum on student learning. SLOs describe what students should know, be able to do, and value by the time they complete their major. In order to develop specific SLOs, a program should first consider their broad programmatic goals (e.g., scientific literacy), and then break them down into specific measurable expectations (e.g., "Students will identify the proper use of statistics in scientific studies"; "Students will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method by formulating hypotheses and designing well-controlled studies to test those hypotheses").

Typically, SLOs in undergraduate programs fall into four categories (Lindholm, UCLA, 2009):

Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.

Speak standard Spanish at advanced-mid level as defined by ACTFL.

Identify current legal and ethical issues and examples of how these relate to arts, culture, heritage, and entertainment and show an understanding of management implications and choices.

Promote professionalism and model the values of altruism, autonomy, caring, human dignity, integrity, and social justice in nursing practice.

  1. Knowledge outcomes (pertaining to cognitive content), for example:
  2. Skills outcomes (pertaining to students' ability to apply basic knowledge to analyze and synthesize information, communicate effectively, etc.)for example:
  3. Attitudes and values outcomes (pertaining to the ethical principles and affective states of students, as well as their personal / professional / social values), for example:
  4. Behavioral outcomes (pertaining to the manifestations of students' knowledge, skills and attitudes, as evidenced by their future professional and community contributions), for example:

Clear articulation of SLOs has benefits that extend well beyond the process of assessment! Communication of SLOs (through advising, program websites, and course materials) helps students to focus their time and energy on what is expected of them, thereby improving learning and engagement. SLOs also communicate to prospective students, their parents, and the public what is valuable about your academic program.