Assessment is a process of gathering information for a specific purpose. Colleges and universities use the term assessment of student learning when information on student learning is gathered, evaluated, and used for accountabilities and improvement.
Purpose of Assessing Student Learning
When Emerson has evidence for its educational claims, it validates the mission. As an accredited institution of higher education with the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), the College must be accountable for its student learning claims and show that the evidence leads to improvements.
Sources of Student Learning Evidence
Evidence of student learning is found in the College’s academic programs, specifically in student work. Evidence is gathered from each of the following curricula: general education, undergraduate programs, and graduate programs.
The Assessment Process
Assessment of student learning is a systematic, systemic, and continuous process. A uniform, yet flexible, process is being used at Emerson. First, the academic program’s student learning outcomes are examined and adjusted, as needed, to align with the program’s purpose. Second, a plan is developed and implemented for gathering and evaluating evidence of student learning. Third, recommendations are made for appropriate changes in the program to enhance learning. Finally, the recommendations are acted upon. Each academic program has an assessment timetable to efficiently, effectively, and comprehensively assess student learning on an academic-year cycle.
Responsibility for Assessing Student Learning
Faculty and staff in Academic Affairs share the responsibility for assessing student learning. The Office of Academic Assessment (OAA) leads the assessment efforts, working with departments, faculty, CITL ambassadors and the Learning, Equity, and Assessment Program (LEAP) Fellows by offering assistance and information. However, faculty members create the assessment instruments for the direct measurement of student learning in their courses. Visit the OAA website to learn more about its offerings and resources.