Faculty-Driven Learning Outcomes Assessment

Assessment is the ongoing faculty process of gathering evidence of student learning for the sole purpose of improving teaching, learning, courses and programs. The CSU and ITL support faculty-driven assessment of learning as an integral part of our core commitment to students. Ongoing assessment allows faculty to analyze and enhance the effectiveness of their teaching and indicates how well students are developing identified competencies and knowledge. Data gathered for assessment purposes are not intended to be used to evaluate faculty. At its best, assessment creates a transparent climate of inquiry and continuous improvement for students, faculty, courses and programs.

Assessment versus Accountability

The movement to assess achievement of student-learning outcomes began in the mid-1980s and is part of the larger shift toward learner-centered teaching. “Assessment for improvement” is a faculty-driven process of gathering information about student learning to refine pedagogical approaches and program design. In contrast, “accountability” gathers data to report institutional performance to external stakeholders who have invested in the institution.* As is true for assessment, data gathered for accountability purposes is not to be used for evaluating faculty.

* Peter T. Ewell, “Assessment, Accountability, and Improvement: Revisiting the Tension.” Occasional Paper #1. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. 2009. http://learningoutcomesassessment.org/documents/PeterEwell_008.pdf

A selection of resources is provided here to assist in assessing degree programs, courses, and student learning.


For more information, please e-mail ITL at assessment@calstate.edu.