After successfully completing this module, you will be able to:
- Revisit and refine your plan for developing your program learning assessment plan
- Determine how your draft plan can connect and support plans for other programs in your department or school
- Begin planning for the implementation and sustainment of your plan(s)
Steps and recommended actions
1. Revisit and refine your plan for developing your program learning assessment plan
Recommended action: Review the Timeline for developing a program learning assessment plan worksheet that you drafted in module 1 of this series. (Note that the link here goes to a new copy of the timeline; you will want to return to the copy that you made in module 1.)
In module 1 of this series, you drafted a timeline for developing your program learning assessment plan. Now that you have also created a curriculum map, reviewed examples of program assessment plans in other disciplines, examined the rubric created by CTAL, considered the potential role of students and other key constituents, and engaged in other discussions with your colleagues, it may be helpful to revisit that draft timeline. Are you still in line with your original projections? Do you need additional time or have some tasks been quicker than anticipated? Have you discovered additional steps that need to be added?
2. Determine how your draft plan can connect and support plans for other programs in your department or school
Recommended actions: Review your draft assessment plan with an eye toward connecting and integrating with similar plans for the other programs in your department or school.
These modules have focused on developing an assessment plan for one specific program. That is a very practical approach that is often necessary given the relative complexity of most degree-granting programs. However, we must also face another complexity: Most departments and schools offer multiple degree programs or concentrations. Each of these programs should be regularly assessed.
Now is a good time to review your draft plan to examine how it might connect with, overlap, and support assessment plans for your other programs. Are there common program educational goals that can be assessed using the same methods and data? Are there common courses or other learning experiences that can contribute assessment information to multiple programs? Are there productive ways to sequence assessment activities in different programs so they complement one another or, at a minimum, do not conflict with one another (e.g., like planning your courses for the semester to avoid grading papers or projects in all of them at the same time, you should probably avoid multiple complex assessment projects at the same time)?
3. Begin planning for the implementation and sustainment of your plan(s)
Recommended action: Examine your plan(s) to determine how well they will be supported and carried out over the next several years.
Program learning assessment is intended to be an ongoing process with annual reporting to provide information to your dean and others in the university. Although it may be smart to plan cycles and varying amounts of work in different years, this is not something done only once with just one group of faculty. How will this work be sustained? Is there an existing group that can carry this out each year or is a new group required? How can they be supported and rewarded for this work? Are there adequate spaces in your draft plans for reflection and modification of the plan itself?
- Worksheet: Timeline for developing a program learning assessment plan for <program>: This Google Doc lists the common steps involved in developing a plan to assess learning in a program with spaces to indicate who will be responsible for carrying out each task and the proposed date of completion for each task. (Note that this link goes to a new, blank version of the worksheet; you will need to review and work from the copy that you made when completing module 1.)