Please note: Assessment reporting has been suspended for 2020. Given the extraordinary challenges we are all facing during this dynamic and challenging time, Penn State has suspended the June 30th assessment reporting deadline for the 2019-2020 academic year. Programs that have already collected assessment data or were otherwise prepared to submit, and would still like to do so, can still do so. The AMS Training web page has self-help resources and information on scheduled trainings. Do not hesitate to reach out to your assessment liaison for assistance. Please note: this suspension applies to non-accredited academic programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and certificate levels. Programs with disciplinary accreditation will need to seek guidance from their external agencies; we’re happy to help.
Reports are submitted via the Assessment Management System. The role of the Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research (OPAIR) is to support program faculty in their efforts to conduct meaningful assessment. The Report has three main components: 1) findings from the previous year’s assessment, 2) plans for the next year’s assessment, and 3) a summary of any assessment impacts. The information requested in the assessment report, including submission of additional materials such as exams and rubrics, is necessary for OPAIR staff to provide the most helpful feedback to support strong and meaningful assessment. Assessment report feedback is based on comparing information in the report to our definitions of exemplary responses for each section. These definitions are provided below and AMS users have access to a “Program – Training Exemplar” where sample exemplary responses are provided as a guide.
|Program learning objectives||Exemplary program learning objectives are stated with clarity and specificity and include precise verbs, rich description of the content, skill or attitudinal domain in the disciplinary context and are stated in student-centered terms.|
|Curriculum/milestone map||An exemplary curriculum map or milestone map includes all courses and experiences of the program in chronological order, labels of 1, 2 and 3 in the map for each program learning objective reflecting major assignments in the courses they are aligned with. A curriculum map for a certificate program will have check marks instead of 1, 2 and 3.|
|Assessment methods||Exemplary assessments use measures that are described clearly and completely and aligned closely with the learning objective being assessed. An exemplary assessment strategy employs both direct and indirect measures.|
|Scoring guide (rubric)||Exemplary assessments use well-constructed analytic rubrics for appropriate assignments, include clear and concise descriptions for each performance level, and analyze performance separately for each assignment component.|
|Performance target or benchmark for measure||Exemplary assessments provide a clear criterion to help determine whether or not students met expectations. When a scoring guide (rubric) is used, performance target for each assignment component are described.|
|Summary of findings||Exemplary reports provide clearly presented results of student performance, derived by appropriate analyses and directly related to the objectives and the performance targets.|
|Interpretation of findings||Exemplary interpretations are reasonable given the objectives, criteria, methodology and results. Where applicable, interpretation includes how classes/ activities might have affected results.|
|Action plan(s) based on findings||Exemplary action plans, when needed, are directly related to findings of assessment and are very specific (e.g., approximate dates of implementation and where in curriculum they will occur.)|
|Assessment Impact||Exemplary responses to this question include strong evidence, from direct measures, supporting substantive learning improvement due to program modifications. The program responded to previous assessment results, made curricular and/or pedagogical modifications, re-assessed, and found that student learning improved. The rationale and explanation of the modifications leading to the change are clearly laid out and the impact of the change is clearly described.|
If your program is just getting started with learning outcomes assessment or does not have findings from the previous year for some other reason, you will have the opportunity to note this in the report.
In some instances, no assessment data is available. For example, a program may be new and not yet have graduates to assess. Alternatively, the program may be using a multi-year data collection strategy and planning to submit data in a subsequent year. The assessment leadership may have changed hands without the necessary information being communicated to the new leadership. In all of these cases, we request that you still submit a report. Indicate why you have no evidence of student learning to report and complete the plan for the upcoming academic year, if possible.
World Campus programs must also be assessed. If the program has a residential component, then findings from this assessment should be included with residential assessment, although it is appropriate to have different methods and findings if you choose to assess the online program in a different way.