Collect & Use Results

The third and final component of the academic assessment process is to use evidence collected on student performance to inform program change. Analyzing, reporting, and discussion assessment results can take place in faculty committees, meetings, retreats, etc.

  • If results suggest that students are achieving the desired learning outcomes, indicate how results will be used to maintain the status quo or challenge students further.
  • If results are undesirable, don't fret! Rather, use it as a jumping-off point to reevaluate current student learning outcomes (e.g., do outcomes need to be revised? are there too many?), curriculum (e.g., course sequencing, tutoring support), and methods (e.g., was data collection inconsistent? should new measures be introduced?). Focus on results that show the greatest weakness and determine what can be addressed now and what might need to be addressed in the future.

The purpose of assessment is not to generate exemplary results, but rather to gauge student progress and uncover any areas of improvement within the program.

Results Use of Results
80% of students scored as "profient" or "highly profient" on core competencies outlined on the scoring rubric.
Students scoring lower than "proficient" showed weakness in critical thinking. During a faculty committee meeting, it was determined that students need additional resarch and writing support. A series of departmental writing groups will be created for first-year students in the spring.
Feedback from exit interviews suggested that students were not receiving adequate advising support. Hired a full-time student advisor to strengthen existing advising support.

Using Results Effectively

  • A common use of results is to convene a faculty meeting to discuss whether results lived up to expectations, student progress, and how the program might be tweaked to improve student learning. 
  • If changes are to be made to the program, include an action plan and/or timeline. 
  • If results from previous years relate to current results, bring them into the discussion to bolster a longitudinal overview of program assessment.