Capturing, Analyzing, and Ethical Reporting of Assessment Results
Measuring student achievement for the purpose of certifying development is often considered a primary purpose of the assessment of student learning, but enhancing program effectiveness is of equal importance. “Closing the Loop” refers to the final step in the assessment process and leads to program improvement with the intent of enhancing the future learning experience. While “closing the loop” might seem to be a natural outcome given the cyclical nature of the evaluation process, advancing the process from a reporting system to an agent for improvement might be something of a challenge for some academic programs. “Closing the assessment loop” may very well require a paradigm shift as faculty must be receptive to results that might suggest students have not achieved the desired outcomes.
For this Discussion, please share the approach that you will take to “close the loop” in the assessment plan that you have been developing for your Assessment Planning Portfolio. Specifically, please address the following items:
- Review the purpose for the assessments included in your plan. What questions are to be answered?
- What type of results will you have? How will the data be analyzed? How will you summarize the results?
- What benchmarks or standards have you set for a target student performance?
- Who are the intended audiences that will receive the results, and how will you report the findings back to them? Will your approach to reporting the results be the same for all audiences, such as administrators, faculty, and employers alike? In what other decisions, if any, will these stakeholders be invited to participate?
- Address the preservation of ethical standards associated with assessment and consider areas involved in the assessment protocol, including informed consent, confidentiality, proper maintenance and handling of data, appropriate use of results, and (of course) factual reporting.
- If the results are not favorable, how might you constructively communicate this back to the stakeholders? What areas might be considered for change?