What is Assessment?
Assessment is a continuing process aimed at understanding and improving institutional, program level and classroom level achievement. It involves:
- Making expectations explicit and public;
- Setting appropriate criteria and high expectations for learning quality; systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards; Using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance.
Assessment affirms those things that are going well. Assessment also helps identify what is not going well, and can point to the specific changes that might be needed. Assessment is a dynamic process.
Academic Program Assessment
Academic Program Assessment was institutionalized as an academic priority with the 1999 Academic Senate policy on program assessment. In 2002 the Senate policy was revised to integrate four separate Academic Senate documents regarding assessment. Since that time, departments have developed assessment plans, and they report to APD on progress toward enacting their plans.
Classroom assessment can tell you quickly and effectively how well your students are learning. Simple methods can be used. The purpose of classroom assessment is to provide faculty and students with the awareness and information needed to improve teaching effectiveness and learning quality. Feedback received through classroom assessment can inform and provide opportunities for adjustments in teaching. Faculty can share feedback with students, using it to help them improve their learning strategies and study habits to become more independent, successful learners.
Academic Planning uses two different measures of institutional assessment.
The NSSE and FSSE surveys are conducted every two years. The NSSE is administered to freshmen and seniors and investigates the student experience. The FSSE contains the same questions as the NSSE, but is administered to faculty in an attempt to understand how the faculty perceive the student experience.