Learning Outcomes Assessment is an evidence, assessment and improvement process. Ideally we start with an important question, for example “How do we show what students and graduates know, can do, or care about?” To endeavor to answer this question, we need a few forms of evidence, including direct and indirect, qualitative and quantitative evidence. Direct evidence emerges straight from relevant student work, and indirect evidence includes observation or opinions about the student work or experiences. More forms of evidence increases our confidence in the conclusion that learning has taken place. Steps to this process include:
- Clarify institutional, program, major and course learning objectives;
- Identify and implement the learning activity, and the student work, with which you will measure how well those objectives are achieved;
- Gather and examine student work from learning activities to demonstrate student achievement of those objectives, and to understand how well the learning activities have brought about learning;
- Also gather and examine other information such as student experience surveys, or observations of student work in the course, to create an understanding of student learning experiences and practices;
- Celebrate learning achievement, or target and take action toward improving student learning. Sometimes an instructor can use classroom-based assessment techniques to adjust a course while it is in process, or students can use the same evidence to adjust study practice.