Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

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. 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 create common expectations for all students, it may be helpful to consult the AAC&U value rubrics.
  5. Programs will engage in the continuous direct assessment of student learning. 
    • Course-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 should not have to create additional tests or assignments to accomplish this task. 
    • 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. Program faculty will demonstrate student achievement by engaging in the institutional-level assessment plan and processes.
  8. Annual assessment reports and an updated program assessment plan must be submitted on or before November 1st each year.