Annual Assessment | College of Arts & Sciences
Annual Assessment Reports
DEADLINE: 2022-2023 Annual Assessment Reports for all major, minor, graduate, certificate and non-degree programs are due on Friday, November 3, 2023. For those programs requiring additional time to complete their annual assessment reports, please contact your area FDCD for options and support.
Annual Assessment Report Template:
- Assessment Report Template for 2022-2023
- Please note that all annual assessment reports are public documents. A digital repository of reports for the College of Arts & Sciences can be found here.
Resources for Designing and Completing Annual Assessments:
Please submit your yearly assessment report to: email@example.com
File naming convention:
Please write the academic year and name of your program or department in the subject line.
- AY21-22_FineArts_Major (if you decide to submit a separate report for major and minor)
- AY21-22_FineArts_Aggregate (when submitting an aggregate report)
Trouble submitting or uploading files?
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for quick tips, troubleshooting, and any questions that arise. You can also contact our Director of Assessment & Curriculum Management, Ella Aviananda Frazer (email@example.com), at any time.
Our accreditors require each major, minor (including interdisciplinary minors), graduate program, certificate, and non-degree granting program to have an active, continuous, and current assessment plan.
Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) must be assessed at least one time between each Academic Program Review (APR).
Direct assessment of student learning is also required when evaluating PLOs. Direct methods include the examination of student work products such as tests, papers, performances, presentations, etc.
Indirect assessments such as surveys, exit interviews, and focus groups are not required, but can be an excellent way to supplement direct assessment. Indirect assessments can also be developed or used if all PLO statements have been evaluated between APRs.
A good assessment program strives to continually review and improve student learning as indicated by the data. Remember, your program doesn’t have to be bad to get better.
A thorough assessment plan should answer the following questions:
- What do you want your students to learn?
- Are they learning it?
- How do you know they are learning it?
If assessment of each PLO in the program has been completed using direct assessment methods prior to the program’s next APR, programs have the opportunity to engage an alternative assessment strategy. These practices may also be done in addition to assessing a PLO during the academic year.
Year of Reflection
A year of reflection allows the program to review the totality of the assessment practices and results, and to consider how to work towards bettering the program and/or assessment plan in the future. This could result in changes to PLOs, assessment strategies, curriculum, or other assessment activities. Program faculty might envision the future of the program, a goal that the faculty would like to approach, or some question relevant to student learning. A year of reflection emphasizes the true meaning of assessment, allowing for continuous improvement of your program.
Assessment for Equity
Equitable assessment calls for those who lead and participate in assessment activities to pay attention to and be conscious of how assessment can either feed into cycles that perpetuate inequities or can serve to bring more equity into higher education. You may refer to this document for a primer on embedding equity in assessment.
Indirect assessment methods enable faculty to infer (rather than directly observe) actual student abilities, knowledge, and values. Among indirect methods are surveys, exit interviews, focus groups, and the use of external reviewers. Indirect assessment methods can provide valuable information to a program, in addition to direct assessment.
We understand that meeting the expectations of annual assessment and academic program review can be challenging for many reasons. Your FDCDs and the Dean's office staff are here to work with you if and when challenges arise.
Documenting curricular changes and innovation
Faculty may find annual assessment difficult in years where larger curricular changes are being implemented or when they are piloting innovations to the student experience. This could include:
- reviewing and recalibrating course syllabi, course descriptions in the academic catalog, and/or course learning outcomes
- updating program learning outcomes
- changing degree requirements
- adding new concentrations or degree programs
- developing high impact practices such as internships, Community-Engaged Learning opportunities, first-year and transfer student experiences, capstones, research opportunities, and more
Programs have the option to provide a brief overview of the work happening in the program and the connection to previous assessment initiatives in lieu of the standard assessment of PLOs. If your program would like to pursue this option, please get in touch with your FDCD or the Director of Assessment for more information.
Interdisciplinary Minors and/or Programs with Low Enrollments
If you are assessing an interdisciplinary minor and/or a program with low enrollment and have found difficulty with the assessment process and/or the associated workload, please reach out to your FDCD or Ella Aviananda Frazer (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Dean’s Office for support.
For the purposes of annual assessment, low enrollment is defined as a dataset with fewer than 10 student work products. The Dean’s Office and the FDCDs will work with you to identify an assessment plan that is appropriate for your program.
Faculty Directors of Curriculum Development (FDCD)
Your FDCDs and Dean's office staff are here to support you with assessment and curricular improvements! We offer annual workshops, individual appointments, and support as needed throughout the calendar year. Please reach out at any time.
Mark Meritt, email@example.com - Rhetoric and Language
John Lendvay, firstname.lastname@example.org - Environmental Sciences
- Social Sciences
Michael Jonas, email@example.com - Economics
Dean's office staff:
Assessment Report Examples
The Office of Assessment and Accreditation Support maintains public repositories of all annual assessment reports and academic program review documents (as required by our accreditor).
Curricular mapping is an exercise that assists in understanding the alignment between course learning outcomes (CLOs), program learning outcomes (PLOs), and institutional learning outcomes (ILOs). The matrix of outcomes helps us understand the expectations of learning for students, as well as our obligations to deliver the curriculum we have designed. Programs are required to submit a CLO x PLO curricular map alongside the annual assessment report.
Additional Reference Materials for Assessment
Creating Program Learning Outcomes
- See this powerpoint from a workshop on PLOs offered on October 6th, 2016
- Handout: Active Verbs for Student Learning Outcome Articulation
- Handout: Learning Outcome Domains