The objective is to answer the research question: Have students learned what is expected of them upon completion of the program? Often, particular course-embedded requirements, such as a senior capstone paper, serve as natural and appropriate assessment vehicles for program-level perspective.
A variety of assessment methods can be taken based on the number of students in the program, length of the program, etc. For example, pulling a representative sample of all students in the program is a great method for large programs; population-level data and analysis might be more appropriate for small programs; and for very small programs, there may not be enough students to assess in a given year.
Often, taking a close look at the program curriculum will yield natural, existing points at which to assess student learning (mid- and end-point analysis). For instance, consider what measures already exist in the program. Course-embedded measures are regular course assignments such as a final exam or research paper. Another option is to use a measure that's not an existing course assignment such as a licensing exam.
Observable products of student learning
Perceptions/reflections of student learning
|*Accreditation standards require at least 1 direct measure in program-level assessment.|
- Weak: Faculty will review student course evaluations and satisfaction surveys.
- Stong: Using a representative sample of 20 student theses, a team of faculty will evaluate the quality of student work using common criteria.
Rubrics & Benchmarking
A rubric is a tool that defines common criteria by which student performance can be assessed. Benchmarking is a process by which standards (benchmarks) are developed to compare student progress. Benchmarking allows faculty to determine whether students have reached learning goals.