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Organizing Principles

Growing out of the work of the College’s Outcomes Assessment Steering Committee and our pilot project, a set of organizing principles was generated to help program faculty get started in thinking about the various components of assessing student outcomes. These principles included the following operational advice:

  1. Set the goal for outcomes assessment on continuous improvement-assess for learning. The focus is not on a particular student or faculty member.
  2. Tie assessment to the major learning outcomes of the curriculum.
  3. Be sure performance measured is sufficient to represent the outcome assessed.
  4. Be sure outcomes assessed are sufficient to capture what is critical for graduates to do and know.
  5. Embed assessment, as much as possible, into existing occasions for assessment that occur in courses and program experiences-do not make this an add-on for faculty or students.
  6. Make assessment as authentic as possible. Consider using:
    1. Capstone seminar
    2. Portfolios
    3. Synthesizing class project
    4. Certifying skill test
  7. In addition, make assessment practices simple, manageable and easy to record.
  8. Maximize the use of existing data and information.
  9. Utilize quantitative and qualitative data.
  10. Make sure the results of what you measure can lead to program (course) improvement.
  11. Be realistic!