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Student Academic Assessment at Western Illinois University
Guidelines for Assessment Submissions:

Submission of Annual Reports

Annual reports will be requested from Interim Associate Provost Nancy Parsons in May of each year. A letter of request will be sent to each College Dean who in turn requests submissions from each department.

Assessment of Student Learning Procedures

  • Assessment measures are to be clearly described: i.e. how is the measure conducted? For example, does a survey conducted of students post-internship provide evidence of student learning (direct), or provide insight into whether a student feels they learned a particular skill (indirect)?
  • Course-embedded assessment is an excellent example of a direct measure of assessment if evaluation consists of clear measurement of specific learning outcomes (please specify which outcomes and in what way they are measured).
  • The development of assessment measures begins with and is continually informed by the identified learning outcomes; in this way, the learning outcomes become the basis for a solid assessment plan.
    • It is important to clarify how the measure, whether direct or indirect, focuses on the stated learning outcomes.
  • Review of specific courses, or more extensive program review, is not a measure of either direct or indirect assessment, although it may be a very useful result of assessment of student learning (i.e. and therefore tie in via the feedback loop informing revised assessment measures).

Direct Measures of Student Learning

  • the capstone experience (when standards are carefully structured and documented, the capstone experience, clearly linked with the identified learning outcomes, becomes a very effective direct measure);
  • portfolio assessment (with a clear set of objective standards of measurement across evaluators within a department);
  • standardized tests;
  • performance on national licensure, certification or professional exams;
  • locally developed tests;
  • essay questions blind scored by faculty across the department, school, or college;
  • qualitative interval and external juried review of comprehensive senior projects;
  • externally reviewed exhibitions and performances in the arts;
  • external evaluation of performance during internships based on state program objectives.

Indirect Measures of Student Learning

  • alumni and student surveys;
  • exit interviews of graduates;
  • graduate follow-up studies;
  • retention and transfer studies;
  • length of time to degree;
  • ACT/SAT scores;
  • graduation rates and transfer rates;
  • job placement data; and
  • graduate school acceptance.