Assessment Resources


Assessment Cycle

Each degree granting program establishes an assessment plan for each of its Student Learning Outcomes.  Assessment occurs annually and is reported to the Institutional Effectiveness Committee on a three year cycle.


Assessment Liaisons

Each academic department chair or program director is required to appoint a full-time continuing faculty member to serve as assessment liaison. If the department/program offers more than one major (B.A. and/or B.S.), the chair/director should appoint one liaison for each major program. Assessment liaisons have the primary reponsibility for coordinating assessment activities and ensuring that assessment data are entered into TracDat, our assessment database program. Assessment liaisons work with their department chairs/program directors to ensure that all assessment activities are completed in a timely and accurate manner.

Chairs/directors should read the following two documents and share them with interested faculty members prior to finalizing the appointment. When an appointment is finalized, a completed copy of the Assessment Liaison Agreement should be sent to Annis Lytle (, CPO 2205, Lipinski 201) by September 1.

Assessment Liaison Agreement
Information for New Assessment Liaisons

Resources for Action Plans

Once assessment data is collected, departments should schedule at least two meetings to discuss findings, action plans and revising assessment plans for the next cycle. These meetings should take place in spring of Year 3 of your cycle.  This document provides a list of questions for consideration for these meetings.

Resources for Rubrics

Resources for Assessment Planning

Resources for Qualitative Assessment

A common misconseption about assessment is that only quantitative data can be used.  The truth is that not only can qualitative methods be used, but they can provide a richer source of information about the learning process than quantitative methods. Quantitative data tells you "what", but Qualitative tells you "why". Some reasons why you might want to use qualitative methods include: the causes of something are unknown, a broader understanding of something is desired, and when information about attitudes is needed. Qualitative data might help you better pinpoint where change needs to happen in the curriculum to improve student learning.

Qualitative assessment methods include: portfolios and eportfolios, self-assessment, collaborative assessments, qualitative writing assessment, open ended test questions, role play or simulation, thought experiment, interviews, and focus groups.  Types of qualitative analysis include: typology, grounded theory, matrix analysis, discourse analysis, semiotics, content analysis, phenomonology, and narrative analysis.

If you would like assistance in creating qualitative assessments for your department/unit, please contact Jessica Stowell,

Below are some resources for qualitative assessment.

  • Using Qualitative Measures to Assess Student Learning in Higher Education
  • Student Assessment-as-Learning at Alverno College (Third Edition, 1994) by the Alverno College Faculty
  • Self Assessment at Alverno College (2000) by the Alverno College Faculty; Georgine Loacker, editor
  • Banta, T. W. (ed.) Making a Difference: Outcomes of a Decade of Assessment in Higher Education.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.
  • Bunda, M. A. "Capturing the Richness of Student Outcomes with Qualitative Techniques" in D. M. Feetterman(ed.), Using Qualitative Methods in Institutional Research. New Directions for Institutional Research, no. 72. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991.
  • Black, L. C. "Portfolio Assessment." In T. W. Banta (ed.) Making a Difference: Outcomes of a Decade of Assessment in Higher Education.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.
  • Waluconis, C. J. "Student Self-Evaluation." In T. W. Banta (ed.) Making a Difference: Outcomes of a Decade of Assessment in Higher Education.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.
  • Barksdale-Ladd, M. A. and Rose, M. C. "Qualitative Assessment in Developmental Reading." Journal of College Reading and Learning, 1997, 23 (1), 34-55.