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PREFACE TO 2002 ANNUAL REPORT ON STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT

I want to express my gratitude to the faculty and support staff who have embraced life long learning and engaged the challenge of assessing student learning outcomes.  Much has been written about assessment of student learning outcomes.  I find the concise statement found in the November 1995 AAHE Bulletin a useful guide.

“Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning.  It involves making our expectations explicit and public; setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning quality; systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards; and using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance.”

The Catalog was redone for 2002-2003 to include Purpose statements for each degree and certificate program.  Our five-column matrix system is being used for degrees, certificates, and defined course cluster to explicitly state learning outcomes and how they will be measured.  The matrices are available to students and faculty on the assessment web page.

This report contains a summary of the extensive data gathering and analysis that occurred in different departments and divisions.  Our learning outcomes assessment program will continue to evolve.  We need to apply what we have learned about structure and process in 2003.  We need to focus on more student involvement in, and understanding of, the assessment program toward the goal of all students being able to monitor their individual progress toward their learning goals.  This year we have a record number of degree and certificate completers; your efforts are making a positive difference.

Richard Drum

Vice President for Learning Services

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