Why is Assessment of Student Learning Important?

The purpose of this guide is to help academic units develop and/or improve the process of assessing student learning.  

There are essentially two reasons assessment of student learning is important:

Assessment is needed for improvement.

Improvement, with its internal focus provides:

  • opportunities for the academic community to engage in self-reflection of its learning goals, to determine the degree to which these goals correspond to student and societal needs, and to evaluate if students’ activities, products, or performances coincide with the academic community’s expectations.
  • information to students about the knowledge, skills, and other attributes they can expect to possess after successfully completing coursework and academic programs.
  • ways for academic units to understand the dimensions of student learning when seeking to improve student achievement and the educational process.

Assessment is needed for accountability.

Accountability, with its external focus, provides

  • evidence of student achievement to accreditation groups, state legislators, and other stakeholders in education. Kent State University’s regional and specialized accreditation processes hold the institution responsible for evidence of a formalized and systematized process of assessment of student learning and use of resulting data in efforts of continuous improvement.