Driven by intellectual curiosity about the efficacy of our education practices (Maki, 2004), assessment of student learning is based on the use of outcomes as a measure of quality and accomplished through the systematic and cyclical collection, analysis, and use of information about educational experiences. It is a means to an end – student learning – that serves as a basis for program and curriculum development, resource allocation, and strategic planning. As shown in the graphic below, there are four basic step to the assessment process:

  1. articulate learning goals
  2. gather and analyze evidence of learning
  3. use outcomes to improve student learning and to inform external constituencies about our commitment to educational achievement

assessment cycle