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Assessment Plan

Having up-to-date and valid assessment plans is critical to providing accurate data needed for curricular improvement. A well developed and descriptive assessment plan has the added benefit of outlining a program's outcomes for faculty and students. Plan elements currently in the UOEEE Assessment Portal, include elements required by the Arizona Board of Regents covering learning outcomes, concepts, competencies, assessment methods, and measures. The following is a brief description of these plan elements in addition to others required for both new programs and certificates along with a link to additional resources specific to that plan element from the UOEEE Canvas site. Completed sample plans can be found on the UOEEE's Canvas site under the Sample Plans/Report module.

Assessment Plan Elements:

  1. Mission Statement: A program mission statement explains the purpose and values of the program. It demonstrates the way it serves students and supports the university mission. Canvas Link

  2. Program Goals: Program goals are broad statements that extend the mission statement. Program goals can explain the expectations of the curriculum or co-curriculum and often operationalize the mission statement as well as how programs support the university mission. Canvas Link

  3. Program Learning Outcomes: PLOs measure the knowledge and skills students acquired upon completing a degree. Outcomes are written in measurable terms and are focused on student learning. Canvas Links: Part 1Part 2
  4. Concepts: Concepts are directly related to the curriculum and are the content areas students need to understand to achieve the outcome. A program’s syllabi and course descriptions are a good place to start when developing concepts. The number of concepts in a higher education program can be abundant, yet not all need to be included in an assessment plan. Canvas Link

  5. Competencies: Competencies are the skills, tools, and operational knowledge students need to be able to perform to achieve and successfully execute the outcome. Put another way, concepts can be thought of as what students need to know while competencies can be thought of as what students need to be able to doCanvas Link

  6. Assessment Mapping: Assessment mapping is a visual representation of the relationship between the PLOs and the courses/curriculum. Mapping identifies where PLOs are introduced, reinforced, and mastered to assist programs in clarifying the role of the courses in contributing to the students progress towards them.

  7. Assessment Process: This element provides a road map or steps of how the program outcome will be measured. It also allows the process to be replicated. Details that should be included in the processes:

    • Population: A description of the sample used for the data collection
    • Artifacts: The artifact used for data collection and what class it is coming from.
    • Tool or Instrument: The type of research instruments being used (e.g., a rubric or survey).
    • Process: The steps describing how the assessment will take place.
    • Assessment Team: Research team or faculty participating and their roles.
    • Timeline: The timeframe in which the data will be collected and analyzed.
    • Analysis: How the data will be analyzed
    • Application/Closing the Loop: How the data will be used for continuous improvement

Canvas Link

  1. Measures: Measures refer to the tools used for assessment. UOEEE recommends using rubrics to measure direct learning and surveys or focus groups to measure indirect learning. Canvas Link

  2. Performance Criteria: Performance criteria are a specific level of performance necessary to ascertain whether or not student's achieved a program's learning outcome. This is most often described as the percentage of students reaching a level equal to mastery for a given measure. Performance criteria need to be appropriately rigorous allowing for students to meet and in some cases, exceed the criteria. This criterion is usually established by the faculty (although some disciplines have national performance criteria) and confirmed through longitudinal data collection.  Canvas Link

  3. General Education (Undergraduate Only): All undergraduate programs must provide instruction in the nine areas of knowledge identified by ASU and establish where these general education skills and intellectual habits are addressed in a program’s curriculum. The UOEEE program assessment portal helps programs align general education requirements to the areas of knowledge.

Programs and certificates going through APR and those seeking establishment, will be required to have assessment plans that include a majority of these elements. The table below can be used to identify which elements are required for your program or certificate. A higher resolution of the table can also be found on UOEEE's Canvas site.