Planning and Assessing
Planning for Continuous Improvement & Assessing Learning Outcomes
Assessing and evidencing learning outcomes are inherently complex tasks that are best approached through a comprehensive process, involving multiple methods and stakeholders (Green et al., 2009). When implemented effectively, learning outcomes assessment can provide evidence of student learning and progression, and prioritize recommendations for continuous curriculum improvement (Cummings et al., 2008).
One of the core focuses of learning outcomes assessment is to develop a process for continuous quality improvement in our academic programs (Knight, 2002). Assessing student perceptions of their learning throughout and at the end of their program of study can be an integral component in the development of a plan for continuous curriculum improvement. It can also be advantageous to evaluate the input and perceptions of multiple-stakeholders.
Learning outcomes are central to the development of an efficient and effective framework for continuous improvement of the curriculum. The following 5-step framework (below) can help programs manage an outcomes-based approach to curriculum development. For further details related to these steps, please download The Learning Outcomes Guide.
Cummings, R., Maddux, C.D., and Richmond, A. 2008. Curriculum-embedded performance assessment in higher education: maximum efficiency and minimum disruption. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 33: 599-605.
Green, W., Hammer, S. and Star, C. 2009. Facing up to the challenge: why is it so hard to develop graduate attributes. Higher Education Research and Development 28: 17-29.
Knight, P.T. 2002. The Achilles' heel of quality: the assessment of student learning. Quality in Higher Education 8(1): 107-115.