Course and Program Assessment—Purposes and Goals
It has been said that weighing the baby does not make the baby gain weight. Likewise, assessing student learning does not―by itself―help students learn. Student assessment, like weighing the baby, is a means to a more important end. We assess not just to measure, but to improve. The primary purpose of student assessment is to provide rich and useful information for faculty that leads to improved student learning. The key is for the college―through its faculty―to learn from the assessment results, and transform that new knowledge into improved student learning.
- All academic departments and programs are involved in ongoing course assessment.
- Annually review student learning outcomes, assessment practices, and results of student assessment.
- All students in all sections of a course are assessed, capturing variables in staffing, scheduling, student populations, and delivery formats.
- Direct forms of objective measurement are used to assess student academic achievement.
- Multiple forms of assessment are used.
- Some courses are assessed via pre-test and post-test to (a.) benchmark student entry levels and (b.) measure student learning during the course.
- Assessment instruments are continuously tested for reliability and validity.
- Assessment instruments are based on item banks, and new versions are created for each semester.
- Assessment items are aligned with the learning outcomes. The learning outcomes for each course are the guiding principles for teaching and learning.
- Courses are assessed periodically to provide longitudinal data.
- Course assessment is not the same as classroom assessment, and is not intended to replace or diminish the value of teacher-selected and generated classroom assessment practices.
- The student assessment results are provided to faculty and department chairs for discussion and recommendations to improve and support teaching and learning strategies.
- We use responsible and ethical systems for safeguarding results and reporting to appropriate audiences.
- Policies are in place to ensure that student assessment processes and results remain separate from faculty evaluation.
- The culture of student assessment on the Moraine Valley campus accepts, supports and values continuous course assessment.