General Education Assessment Cycle

Operational Procedures

Assessment activities related to General Education core courses are carried out at the department/program level while the Committee on Academic Assessment (CAA) manages, documents and reports on these assessment activities. If a General Education course has student learning outcomes in multiple areas, the course can be assessed in the academic year of the department’s choosing; however, all courses must be assessed at least once within the three-year cycle to ensure optimum continuous quality improvement. Although assessment of General Education student learning outcomes covers a three-year rotation, the fourth year immediately following the cycle's conclusion is considered a "gap year" for making adjustments, reassessing assessment approaches, investigating new assessment instruments, and reflecting on the overall cycle.


Phase I – Year 1 (Fall Semester)
Design Assessment
  • Identify course(s) to assess and review the course syllabus for each.
  • Survey potential tools to use to conduct the assessment for the learning outcome(s); e.g., grading rubrics, test(s).
  • Collaborate in designing and validating selected assessment tool(s).
  • Discuss criteria for expectation targets in the course(s) to be assessed and set student performance metrics.
  • Complete the General Education Assessment – Planning Form and request department(s) conducting an assessment(s) to present the completed planning form to the CAA at its December meeting.
  • Finalize the Planning Form based on feedback provided by the Committee on Academic Assessment and submit to the Director of Institutional Effectiveness for uploading to the GE Intranet web page.

Phase I – Year 1 (Spring Semester)
Initiate Assessment
  • Utilize identified assessment rubric(s) to gather data on student performance in the course(s).
  • Gather results/raw data utilizing validated assessment instruments.
  • Create a method to organize and store data – provide a consistent method of gathering data and results over time.

Phase II – Year 2 (Fall Semester)
Analyze Assessment
  • Involve faculty in the analysis of the evidence collected; i.e., host series of faculty assessment review sessions; sort and tabulate data; compare findings to expectation targets.
  • Sample questions to consider …
    • Were sufficient learning opportunities provided for students to attain the desired level of performance?
    • Were the assessment instruments valid measurements of the intended outcomes?
    • Were the actual levels of student performance less than, equal to or greater than desired levels based on criteria for success?
    • Were the criteria for success reasonable?

Phase II – Year 2 (Spring Semester)
Report Assessment Results
  • Review assessment results and indicate whether to implement curricular changes based on identified GE strengths and weaknesses and plan appropriate revisions.
  • Consult the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for added insights on produced data.
  • Engage department faculty in preparing a data results report.
  • Complete the General Education Assessment – Results Form and request department(s) conducting an assessment(s) to present the completed results form to the CAA at its April meeting.
  • Finalize the Results Form based on feedback provided by the Committee on Academic Assessment and submit to the Director of Institutional Effectiveness for uploading to the GE Intranet web page.

Phase III – Year 3 (Fall Semester)
Develop Action Plan – Act on Findings
  • Act on the assessment findings and determine implications for instruction.
  • Recognize challenges with the assessment and recommend appropriate adjustments.
  • Close the assessment loop – identify areas for improvement and develop an action plan for implementation.

Phase III – Year 3 (Spring Semester)
Implement Action Plan – Initiate Change
  • Determine recommended curricular changes from general education assessment findings and re-assess, if required.
  • Document any change(s) and modification(s) that are made to the course as a result of the collected assessment data
  • Engage department faculty in preparing an assessment follow-up report.
  • Complete the General Education Assessment – Follow-Up Form and request department(s) conducting an assessment(s) to present the completed follow-up form to the CAA at its April meeting.
  • Finalize the Follow-Up Form based on feedback provided by the Committee on Academic Assessment and submit to the Director of Institutional Effectiveness for uploading to the GE Intranet web page.

NOTE: Although assessment of General Education student learning outcomes covers a three-year rotation, the fourth year immediately following the cycle's conclusion is considered a "gap year" for making adjustments, reassessing assessment approaches, investigating new assessment instruments, and reflecting on the overall cycle.

powered by finalsite