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Loyola University Chicago

Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy

Assessment at Loyola

earning Outcomes and Assessment Protocol
AY 2014-15

What is Assessment?

“Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning. It involves making our expectations explicit and public; setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning quality; systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards; and using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance. When it is embedded effectively within larger institutional systems, assessment can help us focus our collective attention, examine our assumptions, and create a shared academic culture dedicated to assuring and improving the quality of higher education.” (Thomas A. Angelo, AAHE Bulletin, November 1995, p.7).

“An assessment is a tool designed to observe students’ behavior and produce data that can be used to draw reasonable inferences about what students know.” (James W. Pellegrino, “The Challenge of Knowing What Students Know,”)

Why is Assessment Important to Loyola University Chicago?

As a research university, LUC views assessment as a natural concern of the scholar as teacher.  We want to know what our students have learned, the means by which they learned, and the effectiveness of the learning process.  As teacher-scholars, we must ask: “What evidence might we gather that our students, taken as a group, are in fact acceptably achieving the learning outcomes that we, the faculty of a given program, intend?"  The pursuit of this question is how we learn what our students know and what they are able to do as the result of their course of study at our LUC.

Goals:

  1. To ensure that every academic program of learning at the undergraduate, core, major, minor, and graduate areas has articulated learning outcomes.
  2. To determine that each academic unit has methods in place to assess their stated outcomes.
  3. To establish a yearly reporting process at the unit and university level to provide supporting data on assessment of student learning for:
    • periodic program review,
    • reaccreditation processes,
    • ongoing determination of how the unit is using the results of their assessment to improve instruction.
  4. To develop a culture of assessment throughout the university.
  5. To implement a cycle of high-quality direct assessment practices to support continuous curricular improvements.
  6. To revise the strategic assessment plan based on academic program findings and current applicable practices in assessment.


Responsibilities:
 
Each academic unit (college, school, department, program) and each distinct curricular program (core, values, major, minor, certificate, graduate, and post baccalaureate) is responsible for:

Definitions:


Support:

Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy (FCIP).  This office will oversee development and implementation of learning outcomes and assessment plans in all academic units.  FCIP will establish a cycle of assessment and reporting, collect and maintain data on learning outcomes and assessment, oversee assessment for the University Core Curriculum, and provide assistance to faculty and staff responsible for their unit’s learning outcomes and assessment activities.  The Director of the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy will have primary responsibility in this area.

Office of Institutional Research. This office will provide technical support and data analysis services to academic units.  An assessment analyst will assist academic units with design of assessment protocols, development of valid and reliable measures of assessment, data collection and analysis, and cataloging of assessment data.  This office is responsible for conducting assessment of broad institutional outcomes (e.g. university core curriculum) and for assessment of alumni.

Guidelines for Assessment at Loyola:

  1. Unit Plan.  Every academic unit and program of study will prepare an assessment plan, have it reviewed and approved at the college or school level, and ensure that the current plan is on file electronically with the Provost’s FCIP.
  2. Learning Outcomes.  Every academic unit and program of study will formulate and publish its intended student learning outcomes.  Outcomes should be articulated for the unit as a whole and for each course or program of study within that unit.
  3. Monitoring Course-level Learning Outcomes.  The administrator of each academic unit, such as Dean, Chairperson, Program Director, is responsible for ensuring that each course description and course syllabus include statements of intended student learning outcomes.  Where multiple sections of the same course are offered, the administrator and faculty member teaching a section are responsible for instruction in support of the course learning outcomes.
  4. Assessing Student Learning.  Each year academic units will conduct assessment of some component of their intended student learning outcomes.  This should include both undergraduate and graduate assessment in units with such programs.  It is not necessary or desirable to attempt to assess all outcomes of a course or program of study at the same time.  The assessment report should be distributed to the relevant faculty and academic administrators for purposes of curricular review and improvement.  An electronic copy of the assessment report should be filed with the Provost’s FCIP.
  5. Core Curriculum Outcomes and Assessment.  Every course approved for the University Core Curriculum will adhere to the approved learning outcomes of the curriculum and of each course approved for a component of the curriculum.  Core courses must have both knowledge and skills outcomes, and learning activities in these courses must contribute to student learning of these outcomes.  The Faculty Director of the University Core Curriculum is responsible for overseeing implementation of the core learning outcomes within the approved core courses.  The faculty director will also develop and implement an assessment plan for each component of the curriculum.
  6. Use of Assessment Reports.  In addition to using assessment results for continuous curricular improvements, assessment reports will also be reviewed in the cycle of Academic Planning Review, and reaccreditation processes.

Contact the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy with questions: facultycenter@luc.edu

Loyola

Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy · Cuneo Hall, 4th Floor, 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660
773.508.7390 · facultycenter@luc.edu

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