Assessment is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve subsequent learning. (Huba & Freed, 2000, p. 8)
The core of assessment is learning. Assessment begins with understanding how people learn and ends with improving subsequent learning experiences. It is easy to lose sight of learning in this process and get caught up in creating assessment measures, getting participants to complete the assessment, or making sure the results reflect on the program or service positively.
Our Assessment Cycle reminds us to maintain focus on learning. Plan, Do, Analyze, and Act summarize the four major components of this cycle. Further, this cycle directs the professional development sessions provided to division staff that aid in their understanding and practice of assessment.
The Division of Student Affairs uses Campus Labs to create an integrated, coordinated, and comprehensive approach across the Division’s departments for assessment and planning. Begin your assessment journey by creating or updating the learning outcomes for your program or service. With outcomes in hand, the rest of the cycle will come together. Additionally, the director of advancement and assessment for Student Affairs, Erin Thomas, is available for consultation, support, trainings, and guidance.