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Welcome to the homepage of the Office of Assessment of Student Learning at Colorado Mesa University. We hope you will find the resources that will help you with program and course assessment. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Student Learning Assessment Handbook

Assessment is the ongoing process in which student learning outcomes are defined, student success in achieving those outcomes is measured, and the results are used to implement improvements in curriculum. Thus, the overarching purpose is to gauge what students have learned in the context of program/course expectations and then document the resulting enhancements to program/course delivery. Most faculty members do this on an on-going basis, though perhaps not documenting formally or done in concert with other faculty members. A key consideration in the process is that the student learning outcomes data that are collected are meaningful to those faculty members involved in the instruction, and the assessment process is manageable for all who participate. Elaborate plans that are not implemented and/or result in feedback that doesn’t benefit a faculty member’s efforts are of no value in this context.

There are three stages to an effective outcomes assessment program:

    1. Define the important skills for students to achieve when participating in an academic experience (outcome);
    2. Evaluate how well students are achieving those skills (assessment); and,
    3. Discuss and use the results for program improvement (closing the loop).

At times the first two stages are accomplished and data is gathered without using it for program improvement, or the information is not recorded and there is no history to determine why changes were made.  A good assessment program can demonstrate high quality student learning and program effectiveness for all University’s constituents.