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

Carolyn Thomas

Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education


At UC Davis, we assess our our students' learning in and out of classes, and also our effectiveness at providing equitable opportunities to learn for all our students. 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.

If you need help finding a place to get started, see the section below titled "What do you want to know?"

What is assessment anyway?

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.

What do you want to know?

Choose the box below that best represents your current perspective.
Moloney Cartoon

 Kara Moloney
Assessment Coordinator