SOAPs (Student Outcomes Assessment Plan)

Indirect Measures

Usually founded in survey activities, indirect learning assessment techniques gather measures from students about their self-reported progress of learning, what experiences students attribute their learning to, how students feel about what they know, and what students value as a result of their educational experiences. In addition, third-party reports of what students know and can do may represent an indirect assessment technique if the reports gathered are generalized assessments of student performances. Use of alumni surveys and employer surveys are encouraged as valuable indirect assessment techniques.

Exit Survey or Interview

A formal or informal interview of students completing the program can help gain insight into both the achievement of learning outcomes and overall satisfaction with a program.  These could be done on an individual basis or in small focus groups.  The questions asked the students should reflect the objectives of the program, scope and sequence of the curriculum, and perceived value of their knowledge and skills attained during the program.

Examples of Exit Surveys:

Graduate Survey

Many of the same questions can be asked of recent graduates as in an exit interview.  However, the key questions should focus on the relationship of the student's knowledge and skills to actual job or career performance.  This measure of satisfaction with a program is useful in checking the match between program objectives and perceived usefulness after graduation.

Examples of Graduate Surveys:

Employer Survey

Obtaining feedback from employers can help establish the quality of the program's graduates to satisfy the requirements of the work place.  This is particularly useful for profession preparation programs.  An employer is in the position of being able to provide an independent assessment of the knowledge and skills possessed by the graduates of a program.  Questions for an employer should take advantage of this viewpoint by asking for comments on actual performance of the graduate.  Responses can be used to evaluate the efficacy of the program and appropriateness of the learning outcomes.

Examples of Employer Surveys: