Text to use later

Characteristics of exemplary practice

  • Collect multiple lines of direct evidence of student learning for each PLO; complement with indirect evidence, as possible.
  • Draw evidence from sources across curriculum to ensure systematic inquiry about programmatic expectations for student learning. 
  • Sample student work for analysis at program level based on faculty-defined performance targets and evaluation criteria. 


  • Why is it important for students to study our discipline? How do we want our program to prepare them for, or enrich, their lives after graduation? What do we value most about our discipline? What does our disciplinary association think are the most important things that students should learn? Why are those things important? (adapted from Suskie, 2018). 
  • What do we want our students to learn in the limited time available? How does one plan and deliver instruction so that it yields high-level of learning for all students? How does one select assessment instruments that provide accurate information about what our students have learned? How do we ensure that our goals, instructional activities, and assessment instruments are aligned with one another? (adapted from Anderson, et al., 2001)
  • What is the value of the learning activities we create for our students? How do we determine and demonstrate that value? (adapted from Jankowski & Marshall, 2017).


NOTE: If you are looking for support and resources for assessing student learning in courses, please contact the Center for Educational Effectiveness Learning & Teaching Support team. 


Curriculum mapping

The end-product of analyzing program coherence is the curriculum map (or matrix). 


If you want to assess ability to...

Gather evidence from ...

Assess with  ...

  • retrieve, recognize, and recall relevant facts / concepts
  • construct meaning from oral, written, and graphic messages.
Exams or quizzes Scores from items mapped to specific PLOs
  • use concepts or ideas to solve a specific problem
  • break material into constituent parts in order to discover relationships among parts and to the whole
Lab reports, problem sets, oral presentations, simulations, case study write-ups, debates, and other course-embedded learning activities  Analytic or holistic rubrics
  • make judgments using criteria or standards, justify a course of action, and / or make decisions
  • combine individual components to create a functional, coherent, and new idea / product / structure
Reviews of journal articles, problem sets, product reviews, capstone assignments, project presentations;  exhibitions, performances, musical compositions, engineering design plans, marketing plans, theses, or other senior-level work Analytic rubrics