Office of Institutional Effectiveness
University of Wisconsin-Parkside Worksheet for Program-Level Assessment Planning
1. List the learning goals of the program
- Learning goals are what students are expected to know or do by the time they graduate: knowledge, skills, and abilities that a student should attain by completing the degree program.
- Most programs will have approximately 3 to 5 learning goals identified for their graduates.
2. List the learning outcomes of the program
- Learning outcomes are the expected accomplishments of graduates (critical thinking, social and personal responsibility, analytic skills, etc.).
Most programs will have approximately 3 to 5 outcomes identified for their graduates.
3. Show how the program's learning goals are aligned with the UW-P university-wide learning goals.
- The program-level learning goals should be inclusive of the three University-Wide Learning Goals: Communication, Reasoned Judgment, and Social and Personal Responsibility.
4. Provide a curriculum map for the program that shows how the program will achieve the learning goals through student course work in the specified courses in the major. Provide the courses where students will be introduced to the goal, where it will be reinforced, and where the student is supposed to achieve mastery of the goal.
- A curriculum map is a way to show how program learning goals are developed across the entire curriculum.
- The curriculum map lists the program outcomes across the top of table and the required courses (in the order in which they are generally taken) down the left hand side of the table.
- The faculty examines each goal in the context of each course to determine if the course addresses the goal in a meaningful way. There are three ways a course might be related to an outcome:
Introduce (I): Students first learn about key ideas, concepts or skills related to the outcome.
Develop (D): Students gain additional information related to the outcome. They may start to synthesize key ideas or skills and are expected to demonstrate their knowledge or ability at increasingly proficient levels.
Master (M): Students are expected to be able to demonstrate their ability to perform the outcome with a reasonably high level of independence and sophistication.
- In building your map (see Appendix 1), place an I, D, or M in the table cell for each course that meaningfully addresses an outcome in one of those ways.
5. Provide the course syllabi, including the course objectives, for the courses listed on the curriculum map which are intended to demonstrate how the program is achieving its learning goals.
- The syllabus should mention the relevant learning goals either in the course description somewhere at the beginning of the syllabus.
6. List and briefly describe the measures that will be used to assess each learning goal.
- Measures might include surveys, exit and other interviews, local or standardized exams, focus groups, portfolios, simulations, behavioral observations, etc.
- A single measure may be used to assess multiple outcomes.
- Ideally, provide at least one indirect measure and one direct measure For each learning goal.
- Indirect measures include surveys, interviews, or other means to determine perceived success in achieving outcomes. Direct measures involve direct examination or observation of student knowledge or skills. Thus, student responses to a survey question about the writing instruction they received are an indirect measure of an effective writing learning outcome, while portfolios of student writing are a direct measure.
7. Describe the process by which findings will be derived from the measures and how they will be analyzed to determine what improvements should be made to better meet outcomes and learning goals.
- The process should clarify who engages in what sort of analysis of the information generated by the assessment measures.
- Broad inclusion of program faculty should be confirmed for all degree programs and, where appropriate, for academic and student support programs.
- The process should confirm that the appropriate faculty, staff, and students are fully involved in this process and notified of its recommendations.
- The process should ensure that faculty conversations on the extent to which students are successful in achieving the learning goals are based on findings derived from the measures that were selected to assess the learning goals and outcomes for the program.
8. Identify a timetable for assessment.
- The timetable should follow a cycle that will probably be 3, 4, or 5 years. When possible/helpful, the cycle should correspond to assessment requirements of accreditations and licensures associated with the program.
- Assessment activity should be specified for each year of the cycle.
- Every goal should be assessed within the cycle, but every goal does not need to be assessed each year.
9. Briefly explain how the program's assessment plan supports and interacts with
accreditation and licensure requirements (if applicable).
10. Describe how the objectives and learning goals of the program are
communicated to students and others.
11. Review the checklist
to ensure you have completed each of the elements of program-level assessment planning.
Click here to view this form as a PDF.
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