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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Office of Institutional Planning, Research and Assessment

Quick Guide to Developing and Refining Assessment Plans

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/assessment/resources/develop_refine_assessment_plan.html


Identify the outcomes

1. When a student finishes our program, what:

a. Knowledge should that student have:
b. Skills should that student be able to demonstrate:
c. Attitudes toward the subject should the student hold:

Determine which are most important

2. Of the elements in #1, what are the most important?

a. Limit the number of outcomes if possible. Five to six outcomes are generally enough.
b. Use outcomes that assess key indicators of student learning, not everything the program does.
c. If accreditation groups require additional outcomes, attempt to group them under these broader headings.

Writing outcomes

3. Of the elements in #2, how can they be written in clearly measurable terms?

a. Sample knowledge outcome: The student will be able to identify impaired speech production perceptually or instrumentally.
b. Sample skill outcome: The student will assess a child’s knowledge of word recognition strategies using an informal reading inventory.
c. Sample attitude outcome: The student will affirm that careful thinking is an important aspect of the educational process.

Link to University, College and Department/Program

4. Of the outcomes in #3, how are they related to department, college and university mission and goals?

a. Show the relationship between student learning outcomes and department, college and university goals:

1. Sample knowledge outcome: The student will be able to identify impaired speech production perceptually or instrumentally. (Department goal 1: Student demonstrates basic knowledge of the field; College goal 1: Students receive a quality undergraduate education in their field of study; University goal 1: Students receive a quality educational experience.

Determine methods of assessment

5. Of the outcomes in #3, how can you tell if a student knows them, can do them, or holds that attitude?

a. There are many viable assessment methods. In general, grades on an assignment or in a course are not acceptable assessment methods. See the PR&A Menu of Methods for a description of some viable assessment methods.

Determine population

6. When measuring these outcomes, what population do you assess?

Determining frequency

7. How often do you need to assess each outcome?