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Loyola University Chicago

Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy

Best Practices

At Loyola University Chicago, assessment is becoming a recognized part of the academic process. This practice is reflected in the mission of the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy: "To promote the development of faculty as teacher-scholars and enhance the teaching and learning environment at Loyola University Chicago through an Ignatian pedagogy."

Each academic unit files an assessment plan with the Office of the Provost which is reviewed and revised every three years. This practice is, in part, to satisfy accreditation requirements established by the Higher Learning Commission; but more to the point, assessment is a means to continuous review of student performance and curricular effectiveness. Academic units also submit a yearly report of their assessment findings; the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy reviews the findings and includes them in a campus assessment report. Additionally, staff members work with academic units who have questions about their annual reports and other aspects of their assessment plans and activities.  

The Cycle of Assessment:

As a university, we perform assessment in many forms. We assess student performance by measuring student development and providing feedback for improvement. We establish program goals and student learning outcomes and assess the effectiveness of our programs in relation to the stated goals. Through course evaluations and review, faculty reflect on the success of their semester and determine what changes need to be enacted. Regardless of the objective for assessment, the process works most successfully when it is cyclical. The following is an illustration of an effective assessment plan:

The goal for all assessment is to close the loop and view assessment as a continuous process that employs the following steps: 

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design

 

Plan: determine the desired outcomes and how best to assess successful completion of these goals;

 

execute

 

Implement: conduct the cours(es) and assess learning;

 

 

 appraise

Evaluate: consider the results of the assessments to determine the success toward meeting the goals;

 

investigate

 

Review current practice and consider what changes, if any, need to occur.

 

 

Assessment Steps:

Assessment Types:

The types of assessments used by any given professor or department vary by what student learning outcomes have been identified and how the discipline measures student success. One strategy that is imperative to remember, however, is that varying assessment types and using more than one way to assess performance benefits students. For example, students’ learning styles may prevent them from performing optimally on a certain type of assessment. If that is the only type of assessment used, the faculty member may not be adequately measuring the students’ abilities.

The American Psychological Associate website has an excellent section on the various types of assessments, outlining the value and drawbacks of each. When determining classroom or department-level assessment, consider using this site for a breakdown of the various types of assessment:   

APA Evaluating Assessment Strategies http://www.apa.org/ed/eval_strategies.html

Resources:

AAHE’s 9 Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning (summarized by American Psychological Association). http://www.apa.org/ed/aahe_principle.html

Best Practices in Assessment: Top 10 Task Force Recommendations. (American

Psychological Association) http://www.apa.org/ed/best_practices.html

Using the New Bloom’s Taxonomy to Design Meaningful Learning Assessments (American Psychological Association) http://www.apa.org/ed/new_blooms.html

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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