Assessment Mapping

With the student learning outcomes (SLOs) developed, the next step is to figure out how to assess each of the SLOs. A useful approach to do so is to use the Curriculum MapOpens in new window as the foundation to build an “Assessment Map” that specifies how each SLOs will be measured. This mapping exercise helps ensure the SLOs are assessed in a systematic and thoughtful manner, ideally capturing student growth throughout the curriculum, and employing multiple methods and measures. Just as we advocate for sufficient opportunities of increasing depth and sophistication throughout the curriculum that allow students to develop the desired knowledge, skills and/or attitudes, we should assess student learning along the way to document their progress.

Example Assessment Map:

Assessment Planning for SLO1

(*D = Direct Assessment; I = Indirect Assessment)
Course Curriculum Mapping Assessment Method Criteria for Success Time Frame Student Sample Responsible Parties
100 Introduced Concept Inventory (D*) 80% of students answer 85% or more questions correctly Beginning (Pre) & End (Post) in Fall semester All enrolled students Course 100 coordinator
200 Developed n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
300 Developed Short-answer Question (D); Student Reflection (I) 80% of students receive full score on the essay question; Majority of student reported positive growth on the SLO Mid (Short-answer question) & End (Student reflection) in Spring semester A sample of 25% of enrolled students Lead faculty of Course 300
401 Mastered Final Project (D) 90% of students receive “Satisfactory” on the final project End of Spring semester A sample of 25% of enrolled students 2 Faculty volunteers of Course 401
  Alumni Survey (I) An average of 4 (out of 6) or higher average rating 3 years after graduation All alumni Department coordinator

Ideally for each SLO:

  • Student learning is assessed at each of the levels at which the SLO is addressed in the curriculum - “Introduced,” “Developed” and “Mastered.” This would provide evidence on positive growth (“value-added”) of students’ knowledge, skills or attitudes develop throughout the curriculum - think pre/post design!
  • Assessment involves both direct and indirect measures, and triangulation between quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • Focus on embedded assessment - think about what is already happening in the course, curriculum or program, and adapt it for assessment purposes!
  • Think about assessment methods that can yield data for multiple SLOs

Direct Assessment

  • Standardized exams
  • Locally developed exams
  • Questions embedded into regular course exams
  • Review by an external examiner
  • Oral exams/Presentations
  • Minute papers
  • Portfolios
  • Behavioral observations
  • Simulations
  • Project evaluations
  • Performance appraisals
  • Think-aloud problem-solving
  • Concept maps
  • Retention rate
  • Graduation rate
  • Degree Attainment

Indirect Assessment

  • Student self-reflection essays
  • Written surveys and questionnaires:
    • Student perception
    • Alumni perception
    • Employer perception of program
  • Exit and other interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Course evaluation