Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
Web Tools and Search Bar
Provost & Academic Vice President
Plan of Assessment of Student Learning
Revised: Student Learning Assessment Committee: 11-02-06
The assessment of student learning is a multifarious process involving faculty and university staff at the department, college, and university level. The process is guided by:
- the University Higher Values in Higher Education- Strategic Plan 2004,
- the Philosophy of Assessment of Student Learning,
- the General Education Philosophy and Goals,
- and the Student Learning Assessment Committee (SLAC) Mission and Purpose,
- and the Graduate Council operating papers.
Purpose of Assessment
The purpose of assessment of student learning is to support the university mission by continually improving undergraduate and graduate education through the cyclical process of identifying learning outcomes, assessing the students' achievement of those outcomes, analyzing the results of learning assessment and using those results as a basis for enhancing the curriculum and the teaching-learning process. Assessment activities will be conducted at various times throughout the university experience and at the alumni level. Program and curricular improvement will be achieved through assessment of general education and of program majors. Individual student learning and progress will be ascertained through assessment in the major. Consistent with the expectations of the public, governing boards, and accrediting bodies, as well as of students, faculty and administrators, the university will inform these constituencies about the achievement and progress of students in meeting academic expectations.
Responsibility for the Assessment of Student Learning
Assessment of student learning is primarily the responsibility of faculty. The Assistant Provost is accountable for overseeing assessment throughout the institution in consultation with deans and department chairs, and with the assistance of the Assessment Facilitator assigned to the Provost’s Office.
The Student Learning Assessment Committee (SLAC), which is composed of faculty and administrators representing various campus constituencies, has been created to provide institutional guidance of and support for assessment, and to insure that WIU is meeting external expectations for assessment, especially those of accrediting bodies. SLAC is chaired by the Assistant Provost, and committee provides advice to the Assistant Provost and Assessment Facilitator on matters of student learning.
Assessment of Student Learning in General Education
The plan of assessment is a blueprint for the assessment of student learning in the two academic components forming the undergraduate degree requirement: the General Education Curriculum distribution requirements and the major. These components are to be viewed as complementary and not in isolation.
General education is currently undergoing a thorough review. The committee assigned to conduct the review has also been charged with developing and recommending assessment of student learning practices to be implemented as the new general education is launched.
Assessment in the Undergraduate Major
Plans for the assessment of student learning in the major are developed, reviewed and revised as needed by the departments, reviewed by college deans, and submitted to the Office of the Provost. Approval of major assessment plans rests with the Provost's Office.
Assessment in the Graduate Program
Plans for the assessment of student learning in the graduate degree program are developed, reviewed and revised as needed by the departments, reviewed by college deans, and submitted to the Office of the Provost with copies to the Graduate Council. Approval of program assessment plans rests with the Provost's Office.
Results of Assessment
Results of assessment of student learning are to be used in curriculum review. Results are reported to faculty and students through various means including the Assessment of Student Learning Website, periodic newsletters, academic advisors, etc. On the basis of these results, in the areas of general education, undergraduate majors, and graduate programs, interventions are designed by the appropriate faculty to improve student learning.
Evaluation of Assessment Plan
Assessment is an ongoing process and is, itself, to be assessed for effectiveness in enhancing student learning and achievement.
The Assistant Provost will evaluate the assessment process annually by enumerating curricular and other educational changes resulting from the assessment process. Results of this process will form the basis for periodic refinement and revision of the Plan of Assessment of Student Learning, which will be regularly reviewed and updated by the Student Learning Assessment Committee. Appropriate faculty and administrative units or other campus constituencies will periodically review the assessment processes and outcomes and provide recommendations for the purpose of improving the process. When appropriate, additional forms of evaluation will be used, such as evaluations by outside agencies (e.g., North Central Accreditation Association, Illinois Board of Higher Education, etc.), administration, faculty, and student surveys, etc.