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Degree-Level Assessment Process

Annual Reporting for Feb 2022 and Feb 2023

For this year, AY 2021-2022, instead of conducting a routine assessment of learning in its degree programs, KU is asking each department to undertake more fundamental assessment planning within each of its undergraduate programs (graduate programs will be asked to do the same next year):

(1) Review and update as needed existing learning outcomes for undergraduate programs, as well as define knowledge/skills levels for these outcomes.

(2) Align these outcomes -- where applicable -- to KU's institutional learning goals, which will be described in detail on the next page of this form.

(3) Update their four-year degree plans in the catalog for all undergraduate programs to ensure the accuracy of their degrees' requirements and course sequencing.

  • For undergraduate programs within CLAS, the Office of College Advising & Student Services (CASS) will reach out directly to you with instructions for updating the degree plans.
  • For undergraduate programs in the professional schools, departments should follow their current processes for updating the catalog.  

For next year, AY 2022-2023, departments will be asked to take three additional steps:

(1) Map these undergraduate outcomes and knowledge/skill levels into course sequences (i.e. a curriculum map).

(2) Develop an assessment plan that specifies assessment methods for each outcome and defines key roles and processes within the department to sustain these methods.

(3) Review and update student learning outcomes for all graduate degree programs.

More details about KU's assessment processes for the next two years and beyond can be found in the provost office's Institutional Assessment Guide.

Preparing for Your Submission Due February 25, 2022

As in previous years, there is a Qualtrics portal for you to file report(s) for your degree program(s). The portal itself contains a wealth of information about both process and substance. However, we would recommend taking the time to engage in a bit of prepatory work before you sign on to submit your report.

  • Involve your colleagues and departmental leadership in preparing your program's materials! Investing time and energy now in setting the groundwork for future assessment efforts will make next year (and years to come) considerably easier to manage and sustain. The CTE is here to help guide or facilitate converastions between colleagues about how to make department-level assessment a shared responsibility.
  • Questions about the goals and purpose of this year's assessment requirements can be answered in the Institutional Assessment Guide
  • Click here to download a PDF copy of the submission portal, complete with some example text
  • The CTE has prepared a short "crash course" document in writing learning outcomes, specifying knowledge/skills levels, alignment, and curriculum mapping. Whether you and your colleagues are new to this type of work or have long trackrecords of success, there's something for everyone here. 
  • Need a space to collaborate with colleagues, facilitated by CTE faculty fellows?
    Join us for this year's Student Learning Symposium on Jan 28!
  • Want to learn more in conversation?
    Sign up for one of the several workshops the CTE is running in Dec, Jan, and Feb.
  • The CTE has curated a concise list of external resources from other institutions that you and your colleagues may find useful. These resources cover everything from how to write a good learning outcome to how to begin work on a curriculum map.
    • A step-by-step guide to program assessment (Carnegie Mellon)
    • A simple primer on writing learning outcomes (Stanford)
    • A conceptual guide to effective, measurable outcomes (Cal Poly
    • An introduction to curriculum mapping (UMass Amhurst)
    • Making the case for curriculum mapping (Linda Suskie)
    • An in-depth dive into the nuts-and-bolts of mapping (NILOA)
  • The CTE has also gathered together several online portfolios from KU faculty that highlight the process of crafting and measuring learning outcomes within degree programs. It may be particularly useful for you to see how other KU colleagues have succeeded in this work.
  • Need an individualized consultation?
    You can register for virtual office hours or email Joshua Potter directly for help.


Examples of Award-Winning Degree-Level Assessment Projects from Previous Years

KU's departments' approaches to assessment involve a diversity of methods and practice. Indeed, there is no one best approach to assessment -- all departments have their different strengths, epistemological orientations, and curriculum structures. The examples below, therefore, are intended to be illustrative, but not exhaustive, of excellence in assessment at KU. Exploring these examples may be helpful as you work on your own department's plan.

Assessment at KU: Documenting, Reporting and Using Results for Program Improvement

The ultimate goal of student learning outcomes assessment is to enable faculty and programs to plan and implement program improvements to facilitate student learning. In order to achieve this goal, assessment needs to be a shared responsibility.

  • Program faculty are expected to document how they have collected, analyzed, reviewed, and used the assessment results to enhance their programs as a whole.
  • Department chairs and program directors are responsible for coordinating student learning outcomes assessment within their units. They are also responsible for engaging faculty in discussion and use of assessment results.
  • Deans are responsible for coordinating student learning outcomes assessment within their schools. They are also responsible for establishing internal reporting processes and schedules that ensure that assessments are occurring on a regular basis, and that the results are being used to improve programs as appropriate.
  • The Provost coordinates the assessment process, in collaboration with the documenting learning specialist in the CTE, and discusses general recommendations at the university level with deans, department chairs and undergraduate and graduate directors as needed.
  • Faculty-led, university-level guidance for degree-level assessment process is provided by two bodies: the Faculty Advisory Board for Degree-Level assessment which convenes twice per academic year to advise on new policies, programs, and outreach strategies; and the Faculty Reviewer Fellows, a small group of stipend-supported faculty who review every annual assessment report and engage in peer-to-peer mentoring with colleagues on best practices in assessment.

Quick Hits

Degree Assessment Due
February 25, 2022

Submit Your Report Here

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