At UW-Stevens Point, the assessment of student learning is intended to provide the foundation for all academic planning and decision-making. The ultimate goal of assessment is to ensure the continuous improvement of student learning by refining the courses, programs, and policies that make student learning possible.
The review and evaluation of student learning in academic programs of study is the responsibility of the Assessment Subcommittee, which resides under the Common Council's Academic Affairs Committee.
The reporting procedure for program assessment has been revised. Rather than a five-year reporting cycle harmonized with each department's 10-year review cycle, we are switching to annual reporting of individual learning outcomes for each program. The goal will be to assess and report all learning outcomes within a five-year cycle. Consequently, programs with more than five program learning outcomes may need to report on multiple learning outcomes in a given year to meet that goal.
As explained in the Handbook, each annual report will have the following components:
Program Learning Outcomes: List all program learning outcomes, specifically indicating the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students will develop. The focal program learning outcome being assessed should be indicated.
Current Curriculum Map: Include the program curriculum map depicting the ways in which courses, activities and requirements support all program learning outcomes.
Summary of Previous Results: If the focal learning outcome has been assessed previously, provide a brief (<250 words) abstract of those results.
Brief Description of Departmental Improvements and Changes as related to assessment: If the focal learning outcome has been assessed previously, describe specific changes that have been made (to curriculum, assessment methods, etc.), based on that previous assessment.
Assessment Strategies/Measures/Techniques/Methods: Include brief descriptions of assessment methods used in the program to assess student learning. Examples of assessment methods include exams, portfolios, pre- and post- tests, direct observation of performance, surveys (current students, alumni, employers), focus groups, and national exams.
Assessment Results/Findings/Interpretation: Describe specifically what the assessment results reveal about student learning in the context of the stated focal program learning outcome.
Implications: Describe how results will be used by the department to enhance student learning, including changes to the curriculum, assessment techniques, and/or learning outcomes.
Dissemination of Findings: Describe how the findings of the departmental assessment work will be disseminated, to whom, and for what purpose.
Five-Year Assessment Plan: An updated plan that describes when each PLO will be assessed and reported within the five-year cycle.
According to the Handbook, annual reports are due the third Thursday in October. This year, the Assessment Subcommittee is actively developing a protocol for submission, and the due date for 2019-2020 reports has been postponed to 20 February, 2020.
In the meantime, the slides from the Workshop for Annual Program Assessment (delivered during contract week 2019 to chairs and discipline coordinators) is available here, as well as a sample report for the Biology program (click here for an annotated version of the report that describes how the document complies with the new reporting protocol).
For assistance or advice on matters related to the assessment of student learning outcomes associated with undergraduate majors or graduate programs, the following contact information is provided.