Evaluate and Share Results
The task at this step is three-fold. First is to collect the information from measures that have been chosen to provide evidence of how closely students’ actual learning aligns to meeting the expected outcomes faculty and others have for a course, a major, or a program. Second is to evaluate what is found. Third is to share the findings.
Some questions that need consideration when planning this step follow.
In connection with the collection of measures:
- Are faculty or other knowledgeable personnel available to supervise the collection of information intended to measure student learning?
- Is space available to maintain information securely so as to assure confidentiality?
- If measures are to be repeated on a regular basis, or longitudinal studies are to be done, is staff available to assemble the information in a useable fashion? Are there software programs available that can assist in the storage of data such as is to be used?
- Are students made aware of faculty advocacy of the assessment process and the agreed on measures to assess their learning? Faculty attitude and contribution are known to have an effect on student participation and motivation.
In connection with the interpretation of measures:
- Are faculty available to score, analyze, and interpret the findings of the measures to be used? If not, are there university or college resources available to assist in these tasks?
- If externally developed (standardized) tests are used, is there assurance that the interpretations from these tests will provide the information required?
In connection with the communication of results:
- Who will have access to the findings from any studies of student learning?
- Who are the audiences to whom the findings will be reported? How will communications differ for different audiences, e.g. for annual reports to the faculty, to the college, to ACAA, to students or for marketing purposes?
- Who will have responsibility for writing reports?
- How will the unit assure a timely and accurate flow of information to those who will use this information? How will findings be used and by whom?
Sharing results leads to the reevaluation of the assessment process to improve student learning.