How to Assess an Academic Program

Using the following components, conduct a simple research project to answer the question: Have students learned what they should upon completion of the program?

ongoing cycle of assessment figure





What should students know or be able to do upon completion of the program?


Where in the curriculum does it make sense to collect evidence of student learning?

  • Methods & Measures: Select measures that will be used to produce evidence of student learning. A useful place to start is through a curriculum map.
    • Direct measures relate to student performance (e.g. thesis, Capstone project).
    • Indirect measures relate to perception of student learning (e.g. surveys, exit interviews, employer feedback, job placement rates).


Based on the evidence collected, what needs to take place to ensure students are learning what they should?

  • Collect & Use Results: Review the evidence collected and, based on the findings, identify necessary action items to improve learning opportunities (e.g. curricular change, faculty development).