Introduction to Assessment
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The assessment of student learning, student development, and program outcomes is essential to the health and vitality of academic programs at California State University, Fresno. The purpose of implementing student outcomes assessment is to advance student learning through improved curricula and instruction. Accreditation agencies for various professional areas as well as the institution itself all have assessment standards that require the connection of student performance to a program’s stated mission, goals, and objectives. This matrix shows common learning objectives that can be used for discussion or assessment plan development.
Planning at the programmatic level to assess student learning outcomes is reflected in the program’s Student Outcomes Assessment Plan (SOAP) which should be maintained at the school/college level and updated annually to reflect assessment activities and results and changing circumstances. All SOAPs should include, at a minimum, the program’s purposes in its mission and goals statements, a comprehensive curriculum map augmented with assessment techniques and timelines, clear and specific plans for assessment activities to be conducted, and summaries of what results have been found and changes made resulting from assessments already conducted. Now that every academic program has a SOAP, the emphasis is on how programs can use assessment results to improve curriculum and delivery of the program. The purpose of this guide is to assist campus personnel as they actively maintain and update their program SOAPs.
Next: Programmatic Purposes