program outcomes assessment

Design Step 2: Establish Standards and Targets

How will you know that students have met your expectations? Clarify standards and targets to ensure equity and promote consistency QUICK LOOK:
  • Set standard for achievement for each program goal
  • Identify performance targets that will allow program faculty to feel comfortable with results

“Comparison of universities or departments serves curiosity but serves little the managerial or public good. The more valuable assessments are those that are formative, developmental, [and] aimed at ...

WSCUC Standards

"What does WASC want?" QUICK LOOK:
  • Accreditation is a peer-reviewed process intended to continually improve accredited institutions.
  • A primary goal of accreditation is "to assure the public that institutions act with integrity, yield high-quality educational outcomes, and are committed to continuous improvement" (Handbook of Accreditation, p.

Use the Results of the Inquiry

How can we improve student learning? Use the results of the inquiry to plan

Celebrate successes and acknowledge areas in need of improvement.

"Consequential validity posits that assessment must be valid for the purposes for which it is used, consistent with relevant professional standards, and--this is the key point here--that the impacts or consequences of its use should be factors in determining validity" (Hutchings, Kinzie, & Kuh, 2015, P. 41).

Make Sense of Evidence of Student Learning

We have collected student work. Now what? Make sense of the evidence of student learning

"Collecting data is one thing, but making sense of them is something else. We want to use analytic techniques that are simple, direct, and effective" (Allen, 2004, p. 131).

What can we learn from these results?  TOOLS ​​​​& TIPS

The results of assessment activities are most meaningful when they provide insight into student learning in comparison to something else, i.e., analysis of aggregated students’ performance in relation to program learning outcomes.

Articulate Goals for Student Learning

What do you expect students to learn? Articulate goals for student learning 

The process of developing learning outcomes invites faculty to reflect on, and then translate, that embodied disciplinary knowledge into clear expectations for students in their majors. We wouldn't want to leave something as important as student learning and success to guesswork.  


Effective Goals for Learning: 

Align Goals & Opportunities-to-Learn

When and how will students learn? Align opportunities & goals QUICK LOOK
  • An aligned curriculum is characterized by transparent connections between learning outcomes, learning opportunities, and evidence of learning used for assessment. 
  • Examining alignment between learning outcomes and opportunities-to-learn to ensure program coherence.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Program Learning Outcomes Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Describe the molecular and structural unity of life, explain how the diversity of living things is generated and perpetuated, and exemplify this diversity among and within life's three domains.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how genetics, biochemistry and direct observation are used to elucidate cell organization and function.
  • Develop skills in applying quantitative methods to describe, evaluate and model biological processes.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design and execute collection, evaluation And i