Four members of the faculty (one from humanities, one from social sciences, one from natural sciences, and one from fine arts or music), a faculty representative from the library, the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Affairs, and a representative from the Office of Research Administration (ex officio). Faculty members are appointed to two-year staggered terms.
To serve as the primary agency of the Faculty in coordinating the assessment of student learning, and in that role:
- to oversee assessment of student learning in the general education program, including the General Education Requirements, and to report findings to the Curriculum Committee and the Faculty;
- to assist departments and programs in the assessment of student learning in the major (including the Senior Experience) and to compile and provide feedback on department and program assessment reports;
- to consult with the Director of Freshman Studies and to support the assessment of student learning in the freshman program;
- to develop and monitor assessment of other areas of the academic program, including tutorials and independent studies, non-traditional courses of study, and off-campus study;
- to provide assessment data to the Provost, the Office of Research Administration, the Development Office, and the Faculty to support the evaluation of curricular initiatives and to satisfy the requirements of granting and accrediting agencies;
- to prepare for the President and the Faculty summary reports on assessment of student learning at the University.
Click below for an overview of Assessment Committee activities by academic year.
The goal for 2008-09 was to educate the faculty about assessment and to initiate development of learning outcomes, curriculum maps, and possible measures.
- The Committee on Teaching Development shifted its focus to assessment of student learning.
- Organized Susan Hatfield presentation on avoiding big mistakes in assessment (Nov. 2008)
- Assisted departments in writing learning outcomes and developing curriculum maps
- At the end of the academic year, a Committee on Assessment was established as "the primary agency of the faculty in developing and implementing a program for the assessment of student learning."
The goal for 2009-10 was to develop student learning outcomes for each of the majors and for the general education requirements.
- Define student learning outcomes for all majors and interdisciplinary areas.
- 3 to 5 outcomes per department/program (up to 8-9 for some)
- Curriculum maps and possible measures
- Develop Senior Experience (required for class of 2012).
- Begin developing and piloting assessment of student learning outcomes for majors.
- 4 assessment reports submitted: Anthropology, German, Spanish, Theater
- Define student learning outcomes for the general education requirements (GERs).
- 2 General: 1 creative activity, 1 integrating knowledge
- 9 Distribution: 2 humanities, 3 fine arts, 2 social sciences, 2 natural sciences
- 4 Diversity: 2 global (choice of 1), 2 dimensions
- 7 Competency: 3 writing/speaking, 1 quantitative, 3 foreign language
- Complete Teagle grant-supported research on tutorial learning outcomes and assessment.
Administration and Support
- Explore systems for electronic storage of assessment data and reports.
The goal for 2010-11 was to develop and pilot assessment methods and tools for each of the majors and for the general education requirements.
- Develop direct measures (such as rubrics for rating student work) for each learning outcome. Indirect measures, such as student or alumni surveys, can also be used as a secondary source of data.
- Decide how these measures will be implemented—typically as part of the Senior Experience, although developmental data can be gathered from earlier required courses or projects.
- Pilot these measures and analyze the findings. How might you adjust the measures to make them more usable and effective? How might you adjust the wording of outcomes to make them clearer and easier to measure, or to better focus them on your most important goals? How might you adjust the Senior Experience or course requirements to better achieve the outcomes?
- Report your findings to the Assessment Committee using the Department Assessment Report Template. The Assessment Committee will review the report and respond to the department with any suggestions or feedback to help with future assessments.
The activities below will be accomplished by the faculty under the leadership and guidance of the Assessment Committee.
- Develop direct measures, such as rubrics for rating student work, for each of the GER learning outcomes. (Indirect measures such as surveys can also be used as a secondary source of data.)
- Decide where how these measures will be implemented—typically in courses that carry GER designations (G, D, W, S, Q), in foreign language 201 courses, or in courses commonly taken to satisfy distribution requirements.
- Determine how the measures will align with Freshman Studies and with the Senior Experience.
- Disseminate findings of the Teagle grant-supported research on tutorial learning outcomes and assessment.
Administration and Support
- Build a website to support department and general education assessment activities.
- Recommend a committee structure and procedures to implement the new assessment system.
- Recommend a system for electronic storage of assessment data and reports.
The goal for 2011-12 was to implement the assessment system for department/program majors and for general education. This coincides with implementation of the Senior Experience as a requirement for all graduates.
- Use direct measures (such as rubrics for evaluating Senior Experiences) to assess learning outcomes. Draw on indirect measures, such as student or alumni surveys, as secondary sources of data.
- Analyze the findings and plan improvements to enhance student learning and/or assessment of that learning.
- Report the findings to the Assessment Committee using the Department Assessment Report Template. The Assessment Committee will review the report and respond with feedback to help with future assessments.
- Develop an online system for accessing GER assessment materials and reporting results. Pilot in the fall and implement in time for use in winter and spring.
- Use direct measures, such as rubrics for rating student work, to gather data on student performance relative to each of the GER learning outcomes. (Indirect measures such as surveys can be a secondary source of data.) Report data to the Assessment Committee.
- The Assessment Committee will summarize and report the findings to the Committees on Curriculum and Instruction and the faculty.
- The Committees on Curriculum and Instruction will review the findings and, as needed, recommend changes to the academic program to be considered and approved by the faculty.
- Gather examples of individual learning outcomes beyond those predefined for the academic program. Report these to relevant groups within the university (faculty committees, admissions, communications, and development).
Administration and Support
- Recommend any changes to the committee structure, resources, and procedures to support ongoing operation of the assessment system.
- Implement a system for electronic storage of assessment data and reports.
The goals for 2012-13 are to ensure the sustainability of the assessment system while receiving formal approval from the HLC, and to extend assessment to individualized learning and off-campus study.
HLC Monitoring Report
- By October 1, 2012: File a monitoring report with the HLC describing Lawrence’s fully operational system for assessing student learning in the majors and in general education.
ACM Assessment Workshop
- Plan and host a fall ACM workshop at Björklunden on "Assessing Student Learning in the Liberal Arts: Sharing Best Practices."
- Provide feedback on department reports in the fine arts, humanities, and some interdisciplinary areas.
- Establish a biannual schedule for department and program assessment reports.
- Develop an accessible online space for departments to maintain their learning outcomes, curriculum maps, and assessment plans.
- Analyze GER assessment data and produce a report to the Curriculum Committee and faculty to inform review of the general education requirements (GERs).
Other Academic Assessment
- Refine learning outcomes and assessment for off-campus study (domestic and global).
The goal for 2013-14 is to stabilize and maintain an ongoing system for academic assessment, including department/program majors, general education requirements, individualized learning, community-engaged learning, and off-campus studies, and to ensure that assessment data is reported to and acted upon by appropriate constituencies across the university to improve the quality of our academic and co-curricular programs.
- Provide feedback on department assessment reports in the natural and social sciences and some interdisciplinary areas.
- Add assessment of additional interdisciplinary areas (IAs).
- Use assessment data to support a planned evaluation of the Senior Experience (possibly next year).
- Make learning outcomes and assessment more visible on department or university webpages.
- Implement a system of rotating emphasis for GER assessment activities.
- Use GER assessment data to support a review of the general education requirements.
Other Academic Assessment
- Establish regular assessment of off-campus study (domestic and global).
- Explore ways to expand the assessment system to better encompass individualized learning outcomes.
- Examine ways to assess community-engaged learning.
- Improve linkage between academic assessment and evaluation of other aspects of the university experience.
- Share Lawrence’s experience with colleagues implementing assessment systems at other institutions, e.g., by presenting at professional conferences.