FAQs for Faculty
- What is assessment?
Assessment is the regular and systematic use of evidence of student learning to improve teaching and learning.
- What is an objective?
An objective can be a skill, content, behavior, or an attitude/value. Some objectives are program level; others are course specific. Objectives should be mapped to the broad learning goals of the University and/or college.
- How are objectives measured?
The most direct measure of an outcome is student work. But instructor feedback, course evaluations, professional exams, and student surveys are also important indirect measures.
- How is assessment different from grading?
Grading is course- and instructor-specific assessment. Assessment looks at across sections at the program level.
- What is a rubric?
Rubrics are scaled measurements of student learning, which details the range of performance. Program-level assessment uses its own set of rubrics, which instructors are encouraged to use in their courses. Instructors might also develop rubrics of their own.
- Are the measures scientific?
The purpose of assessment is not statistical certainty but to gain actionable evidence.
- Does it violate academic freedom?
No. Objectives are determined by faculty and/or outside accrediting agencies. Instructors have autonomy within the parameters of the objectives to select content, create assignments, and run classes in the manner that works best for them.
- Is it used to evaluate me?
Assessment uses student performance to evaluate courses and programs of study, not individual instructors or sections.
- Is it more work?
Using evidence of student performance will make our teaching more efficient. In addition to making us better teachers, it also makes our students better students.