The assessment plan is a critical part of program assessment. Once learning outcomes have been established and a curriculum map has been created to identify where in the curriculum learning is taking place, the assessment plan outlines the process by which learning will be measured by the department. More specifically, this document will introduce a cycle of assessment, explaining where in the curriculum each LO will be evaluated and how it will be assessed (using what activities or measures). The assessment plan should capture any direct or indirect measurements of student learning employed by the program. A good assessment plan will be clear, sustainable, and focused on student learning (rather than reporting). Here, sustainability has everything to do with time and workload. Create an assessment plan that strikes a good balance between what the program can accomplish and what the program wants/needs to understand about how students are learning.
Tips for Effect Assessment Planning
- Focus on the program, rather than individual courses.
- Anticipate how results will be used for improvement and decision-making. Ask questions about student learning that will help you refine or reshape your curriculum.
- Include the entire department in shaping plans, norming standards, and evaluating student learning.
- Ensure the plan is systematic and manageable.
- Include multiple measures to deliver direct and indirect data.
- At some point, assess your assessment plan. Identify if the plan, as written, is delivering the data your program needs for evaluating strengths and opportunities in the program.
The documents listed below offer tools for conceptualizing and creating strong assessment plans.