Guiding Principles

Annual academic assessment reports and an updated program assessment plan must be submitted on or before November 1 each year. 

  1. The university recognizes that the primary motive for academic and co-curricular assessment is to improve student learning.
  2. The assessment of student learning should be meaningful to all stakeholders:
    • Students will be better positioned to take responsibility for their own learning if educational goals and objectives are clearly defined and measured.
    • The University of Northern Iowa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. A primary component of achieving accreditation is evidence of an active program of assessment of student learning within all academic and co-curricular programs.
    • Assessment provides faculty and staff with a forum to discuss student learning.
  3. Faculty/staff are expected to be active participants in assessment activities.
  4. As faculty and staff create common expectations for all students, it may be helpful to consult the AAC&U value rubrics.
  5. Departments and programs will engage in the continuous direct assessment of student learning. 
    • Course and activity-embedded assessment is an excellent example of a direct measure of student learning if the evaluation consists of the clear measurement of specific learning outcomes. Ideally, the professor or staff should not have to create additional tests or assignments to accomplish this task. For example, this may include direct observation of student performance in an activity or rubric-guided assessment of students’ written work.
    • While indirect assessment (or indirect evidence) of student learning can provide a program with useful information, it cannot be the sole evidence used to evaluate student learning and does not meet HLC requirements.
  6. The process of assessment begins with the establishment of measurable student learning outcomes (SLOs).
  7. Faculty and staff in academic and co-curricular programs will demonstrate student achievement by engaging in the institutional-level assessment plan and processes.