Assessment | Webster University

Student Learning Assessment


Welcome! This page includes guidance and resources for the assessment process at Webster. In 2019, we updated our assessment strategies and procedures with the goal of making the process more meaningful for individual programs, and with the goal of helping programs take purposeful action to continually improve student learning. Keep reading for a summary of the current process, links to resources and templates, and information about how to receive assessment support.

Overview of Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes Assessment at Webster

Following the recommendations of an assessment working group comprised of faculty and academic partners, Webster now uses the following process for program-level assessment. All programs at Webster will:

  • Have a standing, five-year assessment plan (due December 2020).
  • Submit an annual assessment plan each September.
  • Submit an annual assessment report each June.

*The standing, five-year assessment plan was originally due in May 2020 but the deadline has been extended because of the demands of the rapid shift to remote instruction.

Standing Five-Year Assessment Plan (due December 2020)

All programs should develop a standing five-year assessment plan, due December 2020. This plan is required from all programs and must include the following:

  1. Program-level learning outcomes (which will be reviewed and potentially updated during this process)
  2. Curriculum map aligning outcomes with student opportunities for learning (e.g., courses)
  3. Assessment methods for each LO including a) what artifacts will students create to demonstrate their learning, b) what tools (e.g., a rubric) will be used to evaluate the artifacts to determine the extent to which the outcomes were achieved, and c) how this data will be collected and aggregated from all faculty in all locations teaching related courses
  4. The process for sharing/disseminating the plan to all faculty in the program

Programs that have external accreditation may submit any standing plans used in their specialized accreditation, provided that those plans include the elements above.

Resources to support you as you create your program's standing five-year plan:

Please submit your standing assessment plans via email by December 23 to Liza Dister at edister17@webster.edu.

Annual Assessment Plan (due from programs each September)

The annual assessment plan identifies the focus of assessment for the year (e.g., a subset (1-3) of the program-level learning outcomes) and should be a subset of the standing five-year assessment plan. Components of the annual plan should include:

  1. Program-level learning outcomes (LOs)
  2. Opportunities for student learning for each LO
  3. Assessment method(s) for each LO
  4. Participating faculty for each LO
  5. How intentions from the previous year's report are being addressed this year
  6. The process for sharing/disseminating the plan to all faculty in the program

Under this new process, each program will submit an annual assessment plan starting September 2021. (Programs do not have to submit an annual plan for 2020 because they are still developing their standing five-year plans.)

Resource:

Annual Assessment Report (due from programs each June)

The annual assessment report will reflect only the assessment that took place during the year and it should serve as a continuation of the annual plan document. Components of the annual report should include:

  1. Learning outcomes
  2. Opportunities for student learning for each LO
  3. Assessment method(s) for each LO
  4. Results of assessment for each LO
  5. Intentions for how to use this information as it relates to the LOs, curriculum, assessment methods, and/or other program aspects (e.g., admissions, auditions, faculty)
  6. Information regarding the success of changes implemented as a result of the previous year's assessment report
  7. The process for sharing/disseminating the report to all faculty in the program

The 2020-21 year is a transitional moment as programs finalize their new standing plans and as they adapt to the challenges of COVID-19. Therefore, for June 2021, programs will have two options for their reports:

  • Option 1, FULL ANNUAL REPORT: Programs may submit a full assessment report that includes the elements on the list above.
  • Option 2, SHORT SUMMARY REPORT: Programs may submit a short summary report of whatever assessment activities they engaged in for 2020-21, including how their assessment plans were impacted by changes or challenges caused by COVID-19. The short summary report should include answers to the following questions:
    • What assessment‐related activities took place in your programs this academic year? Please provide some detail and feel free to include attachments, though actual results/data are not needed.
    • What did the faculty in your programs learn through assessment‐related activities this year?
    • How do you plan to use this information in your programs moving forward?
    • If applicable, how did you communicate with faculty at extended and international locations regarding your programs' assessment processes and results?
    • How did the changes and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic impact your program's assessment activities in Spring 2020 and AY 2020-21?

Resource:
Annual Assessment Report Template (due each June), submit via email to Liza Dister: edister17@webster.edu

Upcoming Deadlines

December 23, 2020: Standing five-year assessment plans due
June 1, 2021: Full annual report OR Short summary report due
September 2021: Annual plan due
June 2022: Annual report due

Support for Assessment at Webster

The Faculty Development Center provides support for program assessment activities. Here are some of the ways that we can partner with you:

  • Guidance in preparing your program's standing assessment plan and feedback on your annual assessment plan.
  • Consultations for programs on data collection methods, including using Qualtrics, Canvas Outcomes, and Office365 to collect and analyze assessment data.
  • Support for integrating assessment efforts into Canvas.
  • Support for streamlining your assessment process and making it more meaningful to your faculty.

For assessment questions and support, please contact Liza Dister, Assistant Director of the Faculty Development Center: edister17@webster.edu.

PDF Description of Assessment Process at Webster: Webster University Assessment Process 2.0