Assessing Student Learning | Webster University

Academic Assessing Student Learning

Goals of Academic Assessment

  • To improve student learning!
  • To demonstrate that we are collecting and using assessment data to improve our curriculum as well as our assessment process.
  • To work toward a process of assessment that is simple and unobtrusive to faculty.

What Every Instructor Needs to Know About Assessment

It's important for all of us to keep in mind that assessment is not every course, every outcome, every instructor, every term!

Although most faculty will be involved in assessment at one point or another, the good news is that you don't have to know a lot about the theory of assessment in order to participate! However, you do need to know a few basic concepts. Primarily:

  • Assessment is NOT an assessment of an individual's teaching. It's an assessment of student learning.
  • Assessment is an institutional imperative, essential to re-accreditation efforts.
  • Assessment is a dynamic, iterative process, resulting in improving curriculum to positively impact student learning. We do not "do it once and be done with it." What we do will change over time.
  • Assessment is required of all faculty. It is not an optional activity.

What do we want you to do?

Review the course materials on the 'WSBT Course Information channel' on the Connections Portal and follow the three steps as they relate to your course. If you have not yet added the WSBT Faculty Course Information channel on the Connections portal, please see the instructions here(PDF). Specifically, please support assessment in the following ways:

    1. In the Walker School of Business and Technology we assess programs, not courses. However, each course is an important element of the curriculum that contributes to the achievement of student learning of particular program level learning outcomes. Therefore, the content of each course is important because it supports the program outcomes. To support our Program Level Learning Outcomes:
      • Please teach the Course Level Learning Outcomes as written on the 'Faculty Course Guide'(on the channel) – every term!
      • During the first class session, please discuss with students the 'Program Level Learning Outcomes' (on the channel) and how your course relates to those outcomes.
    2. Look at the "Assessment Schedule" (on the channel) to see whether your course has been scheduled for assessment in the term you are teaching it. If it is, then:
      • Review the 'Faculty Assessment Packet' (on the channel). It will provide detailed instructions, including an assignment and a rubric, from the faculty who designed the assignment.
      • Feel free to contact that person with any questions you have about the assignment.
      • If you have questions about assessment, direct them to your chair (St. Louis) or to your campus director (extended sites).
      • Report results as honestly and accurately as possible Use the "Section Summary" link (on the channel) to do this.
  1. 'Faculty Assessment Packets' are being placed on the channel as they are being developed. Whether or not your course is being assessed in a particular term, you may wish to embed the assessment into your syllabus. Then, when you are called to submit the assessment data (Section Summary), the process will be easy because it's already in place.
  2. Expect change. The nature of assessment is to promote continuous improvement in the curriculum. Changes in both the curriculum and its supporting systems will occur. Expect them!

For detailed instructions and specific assessment activities, please see the WSBT Faculty Course Information Channel in Connections (Link opens in a new window).