There are multiple audiences for academic assessment work. Faculty members use assessment of student learning to make modifications in their courses. Academic programs use assessment results to modify the curriculum. At a campus level, faculty use assessment results to modify the overall general education curriculum. The results of our assessment work are also reported as part of our public accountability to professional accrediting organizations, the University of Washington, and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
The Purpose of Assessment
Academic assessment seeks to gain an understanding of the University’s effectiveness in providing its students the skill and knowledge thought to be instrumental to their success. Faculty and staff collaborate to define measures of the University’s performance in meeting expected learning outcomes and the services designed to provide students opportunities to acquire the foundational skills identified as student learning objectives. Thus the purpose of academic assessment, through a critical analysis of data and information, is to inform continued efforts for improving student learning and development by providing analysis from two perspectives; as a regulatory process that focuses on instructional performance and as a feedback process that takes into account student input instrumental to defining our campus environment.
Academic Assessment Cycle
Step 1: What knowledge or skill should they have when they leave?
Step 2: What/how should I teach that will help them learn this?
Step 3: What should I do to determine if they know it and/or can do it?
Step 4: What level of proficiency do I expect?
Step 5: Measure according to 3 & 4.
Step 6: Look at results, reflect, consult, make changes as necessary.
THEN: Document the process.
Academic Assessment Cycle at UW Tacoma
Full articulation of Student Learning Objectives: Assessment, reflection, documentation of improvement of student learning objectives (SLO) at each level