“All assessment is a perpetual work in progress.”– Linda Suskie, author of Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide
The assessment efforts at IVCCD are driven by the Integrated Institutional Effectiveness Process, which documents and measures how well the District fulfills its mission and achieves goals laid out by the Strategic Agenda. Assessment of student learning outcomes plays an important role in our mission. Every employee of the District touches our students in direct or indirect ways. Everyone is encouraged to embrace the culture of student learning, help students transform their lives, and help them earn a living wage by supporting students in their efforts to meet their academic and personal goals.
Furthermore, our accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), outlines the criteria for accreditation. Criterion 4 specifically addresses student learning:
Criterion 4. Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement – The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.
IVCCD is using the following definition of assessment: The process of assessing. The systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development. (Assessment Essentials by Banta and Palomba, 2015, p. 1-2).
Purposes of Assessment
The four main purposes of assessment are:
- To improve – The assessment process provides feedback to determine how the program, course, or institution can be improved.
- To inform – The assessment process informs decision-makers of the contributions and impact of the assessed program, course, or institution to the development and growth of students.
- To prove – The assessment process encapsulates and demonstrates to stakeholders what the program, course, or institution is accomplishing.
- To support – The assessment process provides support for campus decision-making activities such as program review and strategic planning, as well as external accountability activities such as accreditation.
Student Learning Assessment Process
Student learning assessment at IVCCD will be designed in alignment with the already established IVCCD processes for continuous improvement. All levels of academic and co-curricular assessments will follow the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle (See Figure 1):