Assessment FAQ

1Campus collection of learning outcomes assessment information

Can we just use our 2007-2008 reports?
In part, yes; but this information needs to be updated, revised, and placed in the new template.

Where will I get the template?
The template will be mailed to academic program executive officers, and it will also be on this assessment website.

Does the plan need to include evidence from our assessments of learning outcomes?
For the Undergraduate Programs, yes, departments should be collecting evidence to report this year.

For the Graduate programs, no, the template is asking for the PLAN for assessment of learning outcomes including what evidence will be collected. But the actual evidence that has been collected does not need to be included.

Do programs need to address Illinois Student Learning Outcomes?
Programs may connect learning outcomes with the campus learning outcomes, but programs are not required to do so.

What evidence is there that Student Learning Outcomes Assessment benefits student learning?Programs that have assessed student learning, used the evidence from the assessment, made changes, and reassessed have found that they have improved the learning gains of students. Examples will be shared during workshops.

What types of programs need to participate at this time? Minors? Certificates?
At this time, all undergraduate degree-granting programs submitted plans of assessment of learning outcomes in Spring 2017. During the 2017-2018 academic year, we will will collect assessment plans from graduate programs. Information about what will be required for graduate programs will be distributed in Fall 2017.

If a department has more than one degree, do they submit two plans?
If a department has 3 “concentrations” but only one degree, submit one plan that covers all three. A LO might be “concentration” specific, but that’s ok. If a department has more than one degree, then they do need to submit a plan for each degree.

When are the reports due?
Graduate and Professional assessment reports will be due in April 2018. Updates to the Undergraduate assessment reports submitted in Spring 2017 will also be due in April 2018.

2. Council for Learning Outcomes Assessment (C-LOA)

Will C-LOA look at my unit’s accreditation report?
Yes, C-LOA assures that units are submitting reports and that they are complete.

3. Resources for Assessment

I don’t know how to do program level assessment. Where can I find assistance?
This website has many resources. In addition, several workshops will take place in the Fall and Spring. Your C-LOA representative can also be helpful.

What is an example of a Learning Outcome and how it would be assessed? How many Learning Outcomes do programs typically have?
This website has examples. Typically a program would have between 5 and 7 learning outcomes. These can be assessed using direct assessment of student work (i.e. a final paper, a capstone class) and by using indirect assessment (i.e. surveys, focus group).

4. Assessment should be meaningful and useful

Can I use the assessment information I did for my discipline’s accreditation?
Yes, when appropriate, the unit should pull assessment information from other work that it is doing, such as from specialized accreditation reports and committee reports.

My curriculum committee just completed a review of student learning using evidence; do we have to do something new for this request?
Absolutely not, please pull from assessment work already being done in the programs to fill in the template.

What are the expectations?
The program faculty should ask what they want to know about student learning in the degree program. For instance, faculty could ask whether graduating students can effectively present material; identify evidence to answer the question; analyze what it has found. Finally, it should use that information to confirm the program is impacting student learning or improve the curriculum.

5. Quality assurance and accreditation

Why?
Our campus is committed to the educational achievement of our students, and we strive to offer educational programs of the highest quality. A regular and thoughtful practice of articulating and assessing student learning outcomes allows for our campus to ensure that our graduates are receiving the world-class education that we promise.

Why is accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) important for our  campus? What are the consequences of not being accredited?
HLC accreditation holds campuses to a high standard for assessing student learning outcomes, by expecting that the campus collects assessment information (plans and use) for every program at the University. The campus cannot receive any federal money without HLC accreditation.