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Unit Outcomes Assessment Plans

Printed Outcomes Assessment Materials

Many of these resources from other higher education institutions are available at the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, 247 Armory Building. Please call 333-3490 for more information on obtaining these materials.

Books and Resource Guides:

The AAHE Assessment Forum, American Association for Higher Education (1992). Principles of good practice for assessing student learning.

Cambridge, B. L. (2001). Electronic Portfolios Emerging practice in Student, faculty, and institutional learning. American association for Higher Education.

Ewell, P. T., Hutchings, P., & Marchese, T. (1991). Reprise 1991: Reprints of Two papers treating assessment's history and implementation. The AAHE Assessment Forum, American Association for Higher Education.

Gardiner, L. F., Anderson, C., & Cambridge, B. L. (1995). Learning through assessment: A resource guide for higher education. A Publication of the AAHE Assessment Forum.

Heywood, J. (2000). Assessment in higher education: Student learning, teaching, programs, and institutions. Philadelphia: Kingsley Publishing.

Palomba, C. A. & Banto, T. W. (1999). Assessment essentials: Planning, implementing, and improving assessment in higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-bass.<

Upcraft, M. & Schuh, J. (1996). Assessment in student affairs: A guide for practitioners. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


University of Wisconsin, Madison
Using Assessment for Program Improvement: A Resource Manual for Academic Departments (2/95)
Includes introduction, background of UWM's assessment approaches, including NCA's five important evaluative criteria to be used by evaluation teams; NCA's characteristics of an effective program; UWM's assessment approach, including a list of seven fundamental principles; developing a departmental assessment plan; descriptions of assessment instruments and methods available to assess student learning in the major, including capstone, embedded testing, local examinations, exit interviews, national testing; portfolio evaluation; pretest/posttest, student and alumni surveys, thesis evaluation, videotape and audiotape evaluation; revised statement on Assessment from the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, August 1993; example grids outlining assessment methods by department used by the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Iowa. A good summary of the various methods.


1995-1996 Assessment Report

Includes their assessment approach, five steps for assessing learning in the major; assessment strategies and instrumentation in the major, with general descriptions of techniques including survey/interviews, examinations, capstone courses, embedded testing, pretest/posttest student assessment, portfolios, senior and graduate student essays, projects, external reviews by peers, professional accreditation, pilot projects. Specific departments are listed under the general headings when examples are given for the use of described techniques. Also includes university-wide efforts in assessment in general education, surveys, and campus-based assessment planning resources; a table of use of assessment instruments listed by department. Good descriptions of the various measures.

University of Minnesota

Overview of the U2000 Critical Measures (9/96)

Includes background information; framework for the assessment; comprehensive overview of fourteen measurement categories in terms of their relationship to the University's mission; reviews of measures in terms of their relationship to core resources or outcomes and related processes; a graphic indicating the framework of U2000 measures; four groups of specific measures, including core resources, students, faculty accomplishments, and external relationships; goals and specific assessment measures for each specific measure, as well as planned measures to be implemented later; statistical outcomes for each critical measure; student experience survey instrument. A very detailed account of an assessment program. An excellent resource for reviewing an organizational plan and reviewing different outcomes assessment methods.

University of Colorado at Boulder

A comprehensive website that includes information on all departmental and university-wide outcomes assessment for undergraduates. Print copy available.

Colorado emphasizes knowledge and skill goals in their outcomes assessment program. Each department describes their knowledge and skill goals and how they assessed them. Includes standards for general education programs, which include assessments in writing, mathematics, and critical thinking. An excellent resource for specific goal setting and assessment ideas. Very thorough and concise descriptions of departmental efforts in outcomes assessment.

Indiana University at Bloomington

Campus Assessment Plan 1995

Includes five evaluation questions; principles and goals of assessment; a graphic with schematics of the assessment process and outcomes, including methods of assessment; an organizational chart of assessment committees on the campus; a table summarizing general assessment of outcomes; a table of general education assessment of student inputs; a table of assessment of the instructional and learning process; a table of assessment of non-cognitive factors and the campus environment; a table on assessment strategies for faculty liaison projects. Each table includes area assessed, measures used, general learning objectives, individuals and units receiving assessment feedback, and planned or current action based on the feedback from the assessment. All tables have corresponding textual explanations. Also includes a comprehensive summary of assessment efforts for general education; a description and discussion of the Indiana University Student Performance Measure, a test for critical thinking skills; learning objectives for graduates and undergraduates, general education objectives, and an example of the program from the business school. This resource is not department-specific for assessment, but still a good resource for measures and techniques for outcomes assessment of general education goals.

University of Iowa

Undergraduate Assessment at the University of Iowa: Third Progress Report. February, 1996

Included descriptions of various colleges and their outcome assessment efforts. Has departmental specific tables of out comes assessment methods used; tables of required criteria and documentation for the college of nursing (detailed); University policy statement on student outcomes assessment; National assessment of state universities and land grant colleges council on academic affairs statement of [seven] principles on student outcomes assessment; Ten recommendations for reporting assessment plans; instrument for the third annual undergraduate outcomes survey; a report on the "Challenges to Effective undergraduate Assessment at the University of Iowa." A good resource for departmental specific assessment activities.

University of Michigan

Summary of Graduating Seniors at the University of Michigan, 1996

Extensive instrument designed as an exit survey. Can be used for idea generation.

University of Illinois at Chicago

Review of Undergraduate Education

Discusses general education objectives, integration of objectives into the curricula, improvements of general education, and skill goals: unity, oral communication, mathematics and analytical skills, and techniques for assessment of these goals (pre and post administration, periodic assessment, exit interviews, and measures currently being developed or under consideration). Also includes results of assessment measures, plans for improvement of undergraduate instruction and resources needed to support assessment measures. A good resource for those interested in general education issues.

Ball State University

Assessment Workbook

Includes chapters on Designing a Departmental Assessment Plan; Shaping Departmental Goals and Objectives for Assessment; Using Tests, Surveys, Performance based measures, institutional data, and other techniques for Assessment; reporting and using assessment results. Chapters gives lists of information and then list frequently asked questions and give answers. A useful, practical manual for getting started and considering the issues of the outcomes assessment. Covers the topics broadly with tables, graphs, worksheets, lists and short explanations.

Miami of Ohio University

Student Outcomes Assessment Activity at Miami University: A Brief Report.

Short articles on assessment of faculty. portfolio assessment, "opening the classroom door, an affirmative role for assessment," argues for descriptive assessment techniques; "Descriptive Approaches to Assessment: moving beyond meeting requirements to making a difference" argues for descriptive assessment with case examples from various colleges at the University. Some of the articles are useful for those interested in descriptive assessment techniques. Use of Performance Indicators in Accountability Reports in Higher Education in Maryland: 1995. Michael J. Keller Includes a list of sample indicators for student learning outcomes assessment of plans; minority achievement plans; financial plans; lists of indicators. A good resource for idea generation.