Programmatic assessment at UT Knoxville is outlined by five main steps in a cycle, as seen below. It’s important to note that the cycle is iterative, meaning changes can be made at any step when deemed necessary by the program.
The Assessment Cycle
THE ASSESSMENT CYCLE
What will your graduates learn and achieve?
Where in the curriculum will they learn and achieve what you want?
How and when will students demonstrate their learning and achievements? What assessment do you use?
Analysis of Results?
What is your analysis? What are your conclusions about the results of evaluations?
How will you use these results to make changes in the curriculum to enhance your program?
What Assessment Is Not:
The only information considered when evaluating programs.
Course grades indicate the extent to which students have individually met course requirements. In contrast, assessment results indicate the extent to which students, as an aggregate, have met program objectives.Assignment of course grades vary across courses and course sections. Additionally, course grades often include things such as attendance that aren’t directly related to program objectives, and there can be a lot of subjectivity in how instructors assign grades.
In contrast, assessment is intended to directly measure program objectives and to be as objective as possible (e.g., performing inter-rater reliability checks for any rubrics the program uses to evaluate student performance).
Student Opinions or Satisfaction
Because the purpose of assessment is to determine how much students have learned or developed as a result of the program, it’s essential to have direct measures of student learning (i.e., directly testing what the student knows, thinks, or does).
Student opinions or satisfaction can provide additional information, but ultimately are indirect measures and thus should not be used as the only measure for a program objective.