TLA Assessment
 

Assessment is fundamentally about understanding and improving student learning. As learning takes place in many places and at many levels so does assessment. The Assessment section of the TLA webpage provides a brief overview of assessment at DePaul University and offers information and resources to support faculty conducting assessments in their courses, for department and program committees charged with assessment of student learning in their areas, and for administrators who coordinate assessment across their college or school.

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An Overview of Assessment at DePaul:

Assessment is done first and foremost to improve student learning. The process involves:

  • gathering information about how our students are learning;
  • reviewing and reflecting on that information;
  • and then using those results to improve learning.

The Office for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment with its Faculty Advisory Board developed a formal academic assessment process designed to:

  1. clarify and communicate learning goals and outcomes;
  2. gather and analyze evidence of learning related to goals;
  3. encourage thoughtful revisions to curriculum and teaching strategies;
  4. facilitate the sharing of information about student learning and successful practices among the University's colleges, departments, and programs; and,
  5. meet HLC-NCA and other accrediting agencies’ requirements.

The assessment process incorporated input from faculty, deans, and university administrators and was approved by Faculty Council in 2001.

For information on assessment in the Division of Student Affairs, please visit their web site.

Steps Toward Creating a “Culture of Assessment” at an Institution*

Where is your unit in developing a culture of assessment?

Step Attitude
Denial It’s a fad. If I ignore it, it will go away.
Acceptance OK. I guess we have to do it.
Resistance I feel threatened. My department feels threatened. My campus feels threatened. Can I subvert it by not participating in the process or in some other way?
Understanding Maybe we can learn something useful. Can we use what we’ve already been doing?
Campaign We have a plan. Maybe it’s not perfect, but let’s get moving!
Collaboration We have a plan with long-range objectives that are clearly defined, and based on our experiences with assessment, we believe it works.
Institutionalization. At this step, your unit has developed a “culture of assessment!” We can’t imagine working without assessment. It’s a permanent part of our institutional culture.

*adapted from Allen, M. J. (2004). Assessing academic programs in higher education, p.7. Anker Publishing Company: Bolton, MA.