Elements of Academic Assessment

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      Elements of Academic Assessment

      Academic assessment is an essential component of quality improvement and accountability for all departments and academic programs (majors, minors, and degrees) at UW-Whitewater. A comprehensive system of assessment provides departments and programs with the data they need to make evidence-based decisions and also forms the basis for rich faculty, staff, and student discussions about ways to improve teaching, learning, and department/program function.

      An effective system of academic assessment includes the following elements, within each department or academic program.

      Assessment of Student Learning:

      • A manageable set of student learning outcomes is defined for each major, standalone minor, and degree program.
      • Learning outcomes represent the values, mission, and strategic plan of the university, college, and academic departments involved.
      • Learning outcomes for undergraduate majors and minors are coordinated with the wider campus baccalaureate learning outcomes (LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes), where appropriate.
      • A matrix or other method shows how courses in the curriculum are linked to the learning outcomes.
      • Both direct and indirect methods of assessment are used to measure the degree to which students typically achieve the learning outcomes by the time they graduate. A mix of quantitative, qualitative, internal, and external methods is also encouraged.
      • A subset of learning outcomes are measured (assessed) each year, and there is a plan for measuring all outcomes over a longer period of time.
      • Assessment data are reviewed at least annually within each department or academic program, using a regular and systematic process.
      • Assessment data are used to identify ways to improve teaching and learning, and departments and programs commit to those improvements.
      • Assessment results and improvements are shared with stakeholders, including students and the wider community.

      Program Evaluation:

      • Departments/programs have a regular and systematic process for setting goals (e.g., annual goals) for improvement.
      • Evaluation data, outcomes, or other indicators are collected and reviewed as evidence of goal achievement.
      • There is a regular and systematic process for monitoring and reporting on progress.
      • Faculty, staff, and other appropriate stakeholders are involved in setting goals and monitoring progress.

      For more information, or for assistance with academic assessment, please contact:

      Dr. Joan Cook
      Director of Academic Assessment
      cookj@uww.edu
      (262) 472-1530

      Location

      Office of Academic Affairs
      420 Hyer Hall
      800 West Main Street
      Whitewater, WI 53190
      Phone:  262-472-1672
      Fax:  262-472-1670

      54.204.120.143
      http://www.uww.edu/