Undergraduate Academic Assessment Process

Overview

All undergraduate programs and transcripted certificates offered for credit by NCSU are expected to fully participate in the assessment process, regardless of method or location. However, University requirements are flexible enough to allow programs and/or colleges wide latitude in implementing the procedures, including integration of undergraduate and graduate program review where desired.

The faculty and Associate Deans will be aided in their efforts by the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA), the Office of Institutional Research and Planning(OIRP), and assigned university consultants.

Academic Program Assessment Application and Guidelines

Basic Expectations for the Assessment Process

1) Learning Outcomes – Each program and transcripted certificate must have a set of comprehensive student learning outcomes which are measurable (i.e., need to use action verbs such as those found in the Bloom’s tables online) and can all be assessed within a 3 to 5-year cycle. We generally recommend narrowing down the list of outcomes to 4 to 7 high-level outcomes (e.g., analyzing, synthesizing, creating, etc.) the faculty would expect students to be able to do or know as a result of graduating from the program.

2) Measures – Each program and transcripted certificate must use direct measures of learning that are aligned with the outcomes such as test questions (not grades) or projects with a rubric (or another method that will allow for systematic review of the course product) from upper-level courses. When done well and in the aggregate, these methods will allow programs to determine not only if the students achieved the outcome, but will allow faculty to identify both strengths and areas for improvement for the program, which is a requirement of the process (for an example of how to show these, see the example report “findings”). Each program can measure as many outcomes as they deem appropriate each year as long as they are all assessed within 3 to 5 years. A single tool or set of questions from a major exam may be used to assess multiple outcomes.

3) Using Results – Each program and transcripted certificate must make clear decisions based on the data collected. Decisions may or may not include changes to the overall program or courses and changes to the program may or may not be big changes. The spirit of the process is that the faculty review the data and make decisions regarding whether changes are needed and if so, what those changes should be. If the faculty determine that no changes are needed, please explicitly indicate that as a decision made based on data.

4) Submitting Reports – Each program and certificate must enter their plans/reports into the Academic Program Assessment Application  every summer (dates determined by the Associate Deans). Instructions can be found below under Links.

Resources

Major programs and transcripted certificates are encouraged to utilize any of the resources below throughout the assessment process. The use of a curriculum map is recommended  to help programs identify the courses in which outcomes are addressed and where the best direct evidence can be collected. A curriculum mapping template and yearly report template are available in the “Forms and Assessment Resources” link below.

University Regulation and Related Documents

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