Faculty members are very familiar with assessing students. We constantly collect feedback from students to see what they are and are not learning. Most of this assessment takes place at the class or section level. This is important feedback for running a successful class, but it does not tell us enough about how students are doing in our programs and in the college, as a whole.
The assessment of student learning at the program level asks questions about student learning at a different level of analysis, including:
- How well are students achieving the learning goals we set for them by the end their programs?
- Do changes in program requirements or pedagogy affect student learning?
- What changes can be made to enhance student learning and overall program quality?
The College has dozens of programs, hundreds of faculty, and thousands of students, so the assessment of student learning is, by necessity, going to be a large undertaking. However, if we stick to the core principle of assessing what we value (our goals), we will find value in the results and we will use these results to benefit current and future students.