University of Northern Iowa Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Review
HLC Academy for Assessment of Student Learning
The HLC Academy for Assessment of Student Learning offers member institutions a four-year sequence of events and interactions that focus on accelerating and advancing the assessment and improvement of student learning and building institution-wide commitment to these efforts. Participation in the Academy offers involvement in forums for institutional teams to receive consultation from mentors, receive & provide feedback, network, and share good practice. Participants also receive analysis, critique, and feedback on their assessment project design and progress toward implementation.
Our focus for Academy participation will be to create, begin to implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of a plan for assessment of learning in the curriculum for the new Liberal Arts Core currently under development.
Preparation for developing a plan will involve a number of possible activities, for example
- determining measureable behaviors that relate to the learning outcomes for the Core
- viewing models of general education assessment from other institutions,
- identifying potential assessment strategies,
- analyzing benefits and drawbacks related to specific assessment strategies (e.g., cost, time and resources required for administration, usefulness of data provided, etc.),
- providing resources and training for understanding and using the strategies,
- review of the role of the IRB in assessment-related activities, and
- connecting assessment strategies with intended LAC learning outcomes.
Developing a plan will require making decisions related to:
- which assessment strategies to use,
- what courses/settings/populations to target for specific assessment strategies,
- timing and timelines for administration of assessment,
- lines of responsibility and/or necessary administrative structures to use or create (e.g., the category coordinating committees described above; review/revision/clarification of position responsibilities of and connections among, for example, the Director of Academic Assessment, the Coordinator of the Liberal Arts Core, the Office of Institutional Research, etc.),
- reports—what data, to whom, when, how often, etc.,
- methods for archiving assessment information and decisions about accessibility of the data, and
- activities and strategies for sharing and acting upon assessment information for curricular change.