What is outcomes assessment?

Outcomes assessment is a systematic approach for documenting what students get out of our programs, services, courses and events. The question an outcomes-based assessment attempts to answer is "What did the students actually learn?"

Building a culture of assessment

Building a coordinated Student Services assessment effort is about building our collective assessment toolbox. We are developing a catalog of strategies for assessment, we learn from each other, and together, develop an institutional memory of methods of assessment that work on our campus.

We strive to identify what works, to use our time effectively, and the time of our students more efficiently. We believe that for an organization to improve it must be a learning organization. A culture of learning emerges when assessment is shared, transparent, and iterative. A culture of learning persists when it engenders honest reflection and responsive, intentional programming.

Outcomes assessment is a tool for continual improvement

By taking an outcomes-based assessment approach we are able to make targeted changes to continuously and strategically improve our programming. Outcomes assessment helps us go beyond a descriptive report on what we did for students, how we did it, and who or how many people show up for an event. It helps us focus on student outcomes, not professional inputs.

Learning outcomes demonstrate impact

Learning outcomes assess intellectual and cognitive development. To assess learning, we ask students to demonstrate what they learn both during and after participating in a student affairs sponsored program, service, activity, experience or class. Learning outcomes make the operational and descriptive program outcomes more meaningful. Learning outcomes explain the program outcomes we report to our stakeholders.

Learning outcomes generator

The Learning Outcomes Generator is a simple tool for writing learning outcomes. Try it today!

Want to know more about learning outcomes assessment?

If your program would like an introduction to learning outcomes assessment, we will develop an interactive workshop with your program professionals and to meet your program goals.