OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

APAA - Assessment

Undergraduate and Professional Degrees

Academic Assessment Planning at OSU

Our culture at OSU values the autonomy of each department; their expertise is vital to establishing the standards of competence for students in their discipline. Therefore, the greatest energy and resources will be focused on departments to facilitate the articulation and practice of evidence based decision making. This process strives to promote and continually improve student learning. We can break this down into three necessary components related to full cycle assessment.

Full Cycle Assessment

Articulate Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes are learner-focused statements reflecting what a student will be able to do as a result of an instructional activity. Each outcome statement should start with a measurable action verb that indicates the level of learning, followed by a precise description of the learned behavior, knowledge, or attitude. Bloom's Taxonomy is a useful tool for choosing action verbs that accurately describe a desired level of student learning. It is often helpful to start with this phrase: After completion of this <<course/program>>, a student will be able to...

For example, after completion of a Learning Outcome workshop, an OSU faculty member will be able to:

  • Identify an appropriate action verb from Bloom's Taxonomy that describes a particular level of learning.
  • Describe the desired behavior a student will be able to exhibit upon successful completion of a course.
  • Assess students' performance for evidence of desired learning."

Gathering Information and Tools for Assessing Student Learning

Direct Measures demonstrate student achievement toward a particular learning outcome based on an identified standard of performance. In circumstances where direct measures can be used for assessment, they should be used. OSU requires at least one direct measure for each program level student learning outcome. (There are some cases where direct measures do not make sense or are not feasible to assess a student learning outcome, but these are the exception rather than the rule.)

Examples of direct measures include:

  • Course Embedded Assessments (see Rubrics and Primary Trait Analysis)
    • Exam Questions
    • Papers
    • Laboratory skill test
    • Oral presentation
  • Standardized Tests
  • Pre/Post Tests

Indirect Measures appraise opinions, thoughts, or perceptions about student knowledge, skills, or attitudes. Although these do have programmatic value, use of ONLY indirect measures does NOT constitute program level assessment.

Examples of indirect measures are:

  • Surveys
  • Student or Faculty self reports
  • Focus Groups
  • Student Evaluation of Teaching (eSET)

Use Gathered Information

  •  Interpret data
  •  Make evidence based decisions
  •  Implement changes
  •  Celebrate

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