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jointly review results, consider need for changes, and communicate results to relevant others who did not participate in the assessment study. Someone accumulates a list of changes that were made as a result of the assessment.

Program—all courses meeting a GE requirement (e.g., a Social Science requirement) or meeting the same outcome (e.g., information literacy) are assessed together. Faculty who teach those courses generally review results, consider need for changes, and communicate results to relevant others who did not participate in the assessment study. Someone accumulates a list of changes that were made as a result of the assessment.

Institution—some GE learning outcomes are so integrated into the curriculum that it makes sense to examine them at the institution level, e.g., assess the quality of writing in senior capstone courses. Generally a faculty committee reviews results, considers need for changes, and communicates results to relevant others who did not participate in the assessment study. Someone accumulates a list of changes that were made as a result of the assessment.

Assessment Studies:

Direct Assessment—generally based on embedded assessment studies, but some campuses also make some use of standardized exams

Indirect Assessment—very useful to supplement direct assessment studies, but not sufficient when used alone

Multi-year assessment plan generally is created to manage the workload, e.g., a specific outcome may be addressed every nth year.

Bringing It All Together:

Need for campus-wide conversations. Findings may have implications for Student Affairs units, librarians, advisors, and those who organize the co-curricular environment or support campus technology initiatives.

Findings may have institution-wide implications for faculty/staff development, e.g., establishing a writing-across-the-curriculum program.

Need for a quality-assurance process to verify that outcomes are created and assessment studies are conducted in a reasonable way.

Need for a reporting structure so that results and their impact are examined at the institution-wide level.

Results may have implications for funding individual units or the development of a stronger campus infrastructure to support learning.

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