"Assessment is research into what happens when we teach. We do it all the time."

Carolyn Thomas

Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education

Support for inquiry about student learning

Assessment happens on multiple levels at UC Davis: it happens at the program level when faculty think critically about their program learning outcomes and how courses help students meet those outcomes. It happens at the course level when faculty and teaching teams evaluate how an individual course enables student learning and success.

In Undergraduate Education, our specialists partner with faculty, staff, students, and other campus stakeholders to foster and sustain a culture of continuous inquiry about student learning and educational effectiveness at the course, program, and campus levels. Our teams:

  • Support on-going and intentional evaluation of educational effectiveness at campus, program, and course levels.
  • Promote assessment as integral to the research and teaching mission of the University.
  • Encourage intentional application of results to inform curricular, budget, and strategic planning at all levels.

Assessment, evaluation, testing, inquiry...?

The word "assessment" often causes otherwise fearless faculty members to turn away in horror. There's no need for that anymore! This website aims to provide accessible, understandable, and useful suggestions for engaging in inquiry about student learning.

Assessment provides a set of research and teaching tools we can use to ask questions about student learning and educational effectiveness at the campus, program, and course level. Outcomes assessment involves intentional and systematic gathering and use of aggregated data about student learning to inform program improvement and increase opportunities for students to learn (Allen, 2004). Grounded in a strong theoretical and empirical base, our approach to outcomes assessment at UC Davis focuses on the development and implementation of locally-defined, effective, efficient, and sustainable assessment practices that yield valid, relevant, and actionable information with which to make evidence-based decisions to improve student learning. For more definitions of assessment-related words and phrases, please see the glossary.