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Annual Program Learning Outcomes Assessment

The annual academic assessment cycle is grounded in program faculty collectively examining and reporting on student performance in relation to program learning outcomes. It is a quality and improvement-oriented process that is led by full-time program faculty. It supports but is distinct from program review.

The annual assessment cycle has six steps, with Step 5 being the year's culminating report that a faculty assessment coordinator completes in the Taskstream assessment management system. As a continuous improvement process, Step 6 extends the annual assessment cycle to include subsequent execution and documentation of any entailed improvement actions that faculty articulated in their Step 5 reporting.

  • October 1 is the deadline for completing the annual report in Taskstream.
  • How to use the Taskstream reporting system  
  • Assessment Tools for the Cycle
  • University Summary of annual PLO Assessment (authentication required)  
  • Academic Program Assessment Policy

Annual Assessment Cycle for Program Learning Outcomes

Step 1. Student Learning Outcomes Explicit Across Curriculum. When faculty revise program statements of student learning outcomes, they update the catalog, course syllabi, and Taskstream documentation accordingly. Making student learning outcomes explicit across the curriculum makes the learning process transparent to students.

Step2. Develop Assessment Plan at Program Level. Faculty questions about student learning processes and achievement supports their development of an assessment plan. The program's assessment coordinator articulates the plan in Taskstream, which includes a description of the measures of student learning for each of the program learning outcomes that faculty choose to assess in the cycle. Faculty set standards for student performance in relation to each measure of student learning.

Step 3. Systematically collect evidence of student learning. Following the program's assessment plan, the faculty assessment coordinator arranges for the systematic collection of student performance on the selected learning outcome measures and for faculty judgment of student learning achievement in relation to their standards.

Step 4. Deliberatively Interpret and Evaluate Evidence. The program's faculty assessment coordinator ensures that analyses of student performance are completed in a way that supports the program's deliberation on student achievement of their standards for the learning outcomes in relation to opportunities for learning in the curriculum. Faculty draw conclusions, including any entailed action plans for improvement.

Step 5. Report on Student Learning & Action Plans.  The assessment coordinator completes a report in Taskstream that articulates the faculty's evidentiary conclusions on student achievement of the assessed learning outcomes in relation to faculty-set standards, student learning opportunities in the curriculum, and any resulting action plans for improvement. When student performance meets all assessed program learning outcomes, faculty might still develop an action plan based on what they believe is possible and desirable improvements in student learning.

Step 6. Execute and Document Improvement Actions. Although Step 5 reporting on assessment results and any entailed action plans for improvement completes the annual assessment cycle, the actual implementation of improvements often occurs during subsequent assessment cycles. So, documentation of the improvement actions in Taskstream is considered a distinct step that is retroactively documented in relation to the assessment cycle where faculty originally developed the evidence-based action plan.  Documentation of implementation supports and demonstrates continuous improvement.

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