Why aren't course grades enough?
- Grades provide a judgment of quality of a student’s ability at one point in time
- Assessment provides additional, more comprehensive information and feedback to students to help them learn
- Assessment provides the tools to continue to learn beyond the classroom
- Assessment methods provide information to teachers about what students are learning
- Assessment methods provide explicit criteria and expectations to students before grading occurs
- Assessment methods provide explicit criteria to students so that teachers will never get this question from students again: “Why did I get this grade?”
- Assessment focuses the student and teacher on learning rather than the “grade”
Why do we want or need evidence of student achievement of learning outcomes?
- to improve student learning
- to know where to invest our resources
- to plan for improvement
- to know what we need to change
- to provide accountability to external constituents
- to empower students to manage their learning
- to improve institutional effectiveness
- to become intentional about what we are doing
How are we going to get this evidence?
- Plan for data collection
- Intentional collection and use of assessment data as opposed to haphazard methods
- Internal assessment – performing formative and summative assessment for learning outcomes (course outcomes, program outcomes and core abilities)
What are we going to do with it?
- Apply it for continuous improvement; collect data only if we know how we will use it
- Change practice or continue successful practices
- Tell students how they’re doing
- Show faculty and staff how we’re doing
- Continuous improvement of measures
- Replicate and share best practices
- Relate it to other Institutional Effectiveness measures
- Report data for national accreditation via Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP)
For more information, contact Robin Nickel in CETL at (608) 246-6413.