Accreditation

How to Create Effective Learning Outcomes Assessment Reports

learning-outcomes-assessment-reports

Individuals responsible for learning outcomes assessment reports can get a false sense of relief once they reach the documentation stage because they think their job is almost over. While this stage represents completion of learning assessments, it by no means represents the learning outcomes assessment process is over.  After all, the assessment data still has to be collected, analyzed, and interpreted.

Learning outcomes assessment documentation can be misrepresented as just one report. However, this report is actually comprised of many more specific reports. The structure and content of your learning outcomes assessment report greatly impact its effectiveness, quality, and validity. Let’s delve deeper into the structure and content of effective learning outcome assessment reports.

Structure & Content

Effective learning outcomes assessment reports must have the following sections:

  • Description of the Standard: verbatim description of the accrediting body standard or principle.
  • College Mission and Program Learning Goals: mission explanation and rationale for the chosen learning goals.
  • Overall Assessment Philosophy: rationale for the overall assessment design.
  • Learning GoalObjective Linkage: college-level goals linked to specific outcomes.
  • Goal-by-Goal Results and Actions: description and interpretation of findings and action plans.

Business schools tend to excel on the first two sections while struggling to fulfill accrediting body expectations with the latter three.  Let’s review the three sections and explore how you can help improve and differentiate your learning outcomes assessment report in the eyes of reviewers.

Overall Assessment Philosophy

Reviewers expect this section of your learning outcomes assessment report to show you have a robust systematic process in place for learning assessment and are using high quality assessments. In this section, you should also demonstrate the capturing of the three learning outcomes.

In order to make your learning outcomes assessment report truly excellent, you should include the following differentiators in this section.

  • Attaching instrument technical reports as appendices.
  • Discuss the assessment, measurement, and capture of data for both proficiency and change in student knowledge.

Learning Goal-Objective Linkage

Reviewers expect this section of your learning outcomes assessment report to create a clear roadmap for internal faculty and external stakeholders by linking college-level goals to specific objectives/outcomes for each one of the academic programs being offered in your college. In this section, you should also provide a general description of goals-by-program objectives.

Differentiators for this section include:

  • Having structured and well-organized descriptions.
  • Discussing the specific courses where learning assessment occurs.

Goal-by-Goal Results and Actions

Reviewers expect this section of your learning outcomes assessment report to provide descriptions and interpretations of findings, such as trends and takeaways, and any resulting actions.

Differentiators for this section include:

  • Presenting data in tabular and graphical formats.
  • Setting and interpreting student performance benchmarks.

To learn more about the structure and content of effective learning outcomes assessment reports, including additional reviewer expectations and differentiators, access your free eBook – The Ultimate Guide to Learning Outcomes Assessment. This eBook will provide you with guidelines and recommendations meant to transform your learning outcomes assessment documentation from merely acceptable to truly excellent.

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