Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

Guiding Principles & Assessment Processes

Guiding Principles

  1. The university recognizes that the primary motive for academic 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 of the North Central Association. A primary component of achieving accreditation is evidence of an active program of assessment of student learning within all academic programs.
    • Assessment provides faculty with a forum to discuss student learning.
  3. Faculty are expected to be active participants in assessment activities.
  4. Programs will engage in the continuous direct assessment of student learning.
  5. The process of assessment begins with the establishment of measurable student learning outcomes (SLOs).


Assessment Processes

Program faculty will demonstrate student achievement by engaging in the following four step continuous assessment process:

  1. Identify measurable student learning outcomes.
  2. Intentionally and systematically measure the SLOs using direct assessment methods.
    • Note: While indirect assessment (or indirect evidence) of student learning can provide a program with useful information, it cannot be the sole evidence used to student learning and does not meet HLC requirements.
  3. Analyze the assessment results pertaining to the outcome being measured.
  4. Provide evidence that assessment results are being used to improve student learning.

Programs will ensure that each learning outcome is assessed at least once within academic program review or program accreditation cycles.