Frequently Asked Questions
Goals are clear, meaningful statements of purpose or aspirations for the program. Programs typically have several goals.
Outcomes (also called objectives) are more detailed statements than goals written in terms capable of being measured. They include knowledge, skills, habits of mind, modes of inquiry, dispositions, attitudes or values and there are typically several outcomes associated with each goal.
Example, Art Program
Students will develop the knowledge, tools and experience necessary to work in art-related fields and/or apply these in multiple other professions.
- Develop job-seeking skills (resume, interviewing, networking, etc.).
- Develop an artist’s statement.
- Prepare professional photo documentation or portfolio.
A Scoring Check List is a detailed list of the components of required in a paper, assignment project, performance etc.
A Scoring Rubric is a matrix that explicitly states the criteria and standards for student work.
- For an example of a Check List and Scoring Rubric click here
- Rubric from ME Chemical Engineering Program at CSU with data (Note: this is an Excel file)
Evaluation of students' learning should be
- Based on explicit criteria
- Systematic (e.g., scoring checklists & rubrics – see previous FAQ)
- Public – shared with colleagues and preferably with students
Unless grades are based on explicit, systematic and public criteria they are not adequate evidence of assessment of student learning.
Direct measures provide evidence of actual learning, e.g. paper, exam, artistic performance.
Indirect measures provide evidence about characteristics associated with learning, e.g., student perception surveys, focus group interviews, alumni surveys.
Assessment reports are due at the end of May of each year.
A team of three faculty and staff with expertise and training in assessment of student learning. Associate Deans, faculty and staff do not review assessment reports in their own colleges or divisions.
More information about the review process is at this link.
The purpose of assessment is to improve student leaning and development. This is done by collecting direct evidence of students' work (e.g., paper, projects, presentations, examinations, etc) and indirect evidence (e.g. student and alumni surveys or interviews about what they learned in the program) and using this information to help improve programs and services.
Faculty evaluation is not part of the process. At CSU, The Office of Assessment is not involved with any part of the faculty evaluation process (e.g. student or peer evaluations of teaching).