Assessment of Student Learning

Announcement

As a committee, we have agreed to adapt and accommodate new ways of conducting assessment for the upcoming 2020-21 cycle. We recognize that some programs may conduct assessment as usual, while others may face substantial and ongoing challenges in collecting and analyzing assessment data under the current conditions. 

Please read the Memo on Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Activities Guidelines: Academic Year 2020-21

Annual Assessment Reports Due: November 13, 2020

CSUDH USLOAC Checklist for Evaluating Assessment Reports 

USLOAC uses the Checklist for Evaluating Assessment Reports for our initial reviews of assessment reports. The checklist covers the items that we are looking for as we review the reports. We discuss our findings and then prepare commentaries based on the discussion. The commentaries then become the basis for our annual feedback letters.

If you program is new or newly modified or you need to update your assessment plan, you may want to turn in an assessment plan. This is the Checklist for Assessment Plans, we use to review plans. UCLOAC can provide feedback on plans as well as reports!

Additional sample documents available through Campus Labs:

  • poster
  • plan
  • rubric
  • survey

To view the sample documents, login in to Campus Labs with your campus username and password: https://csudh.campuslabs.com/planning/

If you need any assistance or want to discuss plans for outcomes assessment, please contact Dr. Matt G. Mutchler, Director of Assessment in Academic Affairs, anytime at mmutchler@csudh.edu.

This site offers a variety of tools and resources in support of the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes at California State University Dominguez Hills and as a service to the campus community.

Institutional Learning Outcomes

CSUDH mission is to provide education, scholarship and service that are, by design, accessible and transformative. Through a strong selection of academic programs that blend theory and practice, broadly educate students in the liberal arts and sciences, and develop students’ abilities to absorb, understand, evaluate and communicate information and knowledge, CSUDH is committed to making a positive impact on students’ individual lives and the region at large. The CSU tradition of teaching excellence lies at the heart of students’ educational experience at CSUDH.

Institutional learning outcomes are those measurable skills and competencies which are embedded within every aspect of the CSUDH experience. Student achievement of institutional learning outcomes is assessed within their academic and co-curricular experiences.

Undergraduate Institutional Learning Outcomes

Having completed general education and disciplinary specific curriculum at the baccalaureate level, a CSUDH graduate will:

  • Think critically and creatively and apply qualitative and quantitative reasoning to address complex challenges and everyday problems locally and globally. (Critical Thinking)
  • Communicate clearly and collaborate effectively in a range of social, academic, and professional contexts, both orally and in writing. (Communication)
  • Locate, evaluate, and effectively use information in pursuit of discovery as preparation for continuous lifelong learning. (Information Literacy)
  • Demonstrate expertise in a specialized discipline of study and the ability to integrate its ideas, methods, theory and practice. (Disciplinary Proficiency)
  • Develop knowledge of diversity and multicultural competencies and ways to use that knowledge to promote equity and justice at local and global levels. (Engaged Citizenry)

Graduate Institutional Learning Outcomes

At the master's level, CSUDH degree recipients will:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth, advanced knowledge base that reflects the current theories and best practices within their discipline at a graduate level. (Knowledge Base)
  • Demonstrate an ability to perform independently, both intellectually and professional, within their discipline at a graduate level. (Independent Performance)
  • Demonstrate advanced writing skills reflective of styles predominant in their discipline at a graduate level. (Writing)
  • Demonstrate an ability to express advanced ideas orally at a graduate level. (Oral Expression)
  • Engage in research, scholarly or creative activity within their discipline or make meaningful contributions to their field/organization at a graduate level. (Research)
  • Demonstrate responsible ethical and professional conduct related to their discipline in all facets of their educational and professional lives. (Ethical/Professional Conduct)
  • Demonstrate skills designed to contribute to the development of their discipline or profession at the economic, social and civic policy levels. (Development of Profession)

If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please contact the Director/Chair of Assessment, Matt G. Mutchler at mmutchler@csudh.edu.

Techsmith video link

Frequently Asked Questions

USLOAC put together these FAQs to help address questions that may arise around turning in your assessment reports in Campus Labs for the 20/21 academic year.

When is the program assessment report due this year?

Annual Assessment Reports are due November 13th, 2020.

What assessment materials for my program can I submit this year?

USLAOC recognizes the challenges many of us are facing during a pandemic and alternative instruction, including student-learning assessment. We also see this year as an opportunity to reflect and develop new assessment tools, such as plans, rubrics, or surveys that may lead to more meaningful and rewarding assessment activities in the future. This year, programs can still do what they have always done with PLO assessment, but USLOAC will also accept and provide feedback for alternative materials. Your program can choose to submit one of the following:

  • PLO Assessment Report (traditional full report)
  • Assessment Plans
  • Rubrics for Learning Outcomes
  • Indirect measures like surveys, interviews, etc.

See our Memo on Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Activities Guidelines: Academic Year 2020-21.

What should my program turn in this year?

If you already assessed your PLO(s), you should submit the full PLO Assessment Report in Campus Labs.

If not, please consider what would be most helpful to your program this year. You may need to revise your assessment plan, or perhaps you would like feedback on an assessment rubric you have developed to improve your process. You may also want to submit indirect measures to help strengthen your assessment results, so you may consider working on a survey or exit interview.

If in doubt, please discuss with your faculty and you may contact the USLOAC Chair and/or your college representative on the committee (see below for contact information).

How do I submit my program’s assessment report?

Once you have gathered the assessment materials you would like USLAOC to review, upload them to Campus Labs.

  1. Login to Campus Labs Planning: https://csudh.campuslabs.com/planning/
  2. Under My Units, go to Academic Affairs and find your college and program. Make sure AY 2020-2021 and Assessment Reports are selected.
  3. Select the + Plan Item button and choose PLO Assessment Report.
  4. Rename and use the PLO Assessment Report Template for each PLO you are assessing. We recommend assessing at least one, but not more than three PLOs per cycle.
  5. Select the type of assessment report you are submitting.
  6. If you are turning in an assessment plan, rubric, or survey this year, you will only need to complete upload your materials at the top of the template, and upload your document.
  7. Otherwise, complete the rest of the template with additional information about your traditional, full assessment project, including linking your PLO to an Institutional Learning Outcome in the "Related" tab on the right.
  8. All programs should also upload your assessment plan to the Documents tab.

See the Announcements section and Submitting Reports in Campus Labs User Guide and USLOAC website for more information and directions.

In which year should I upload my assessment report?

Upload your report to Academic Year 2020-21. This is the academic year in which you are turning in your report, but the assessment data will be from the previous academic year. 

I cannot log in/add a Plan Item/see the Documents tab to upload my assessment plan! What should I do?

Email Dr. Matt G. Mutchler (mmutchler@csudh.edu). We may need to update your permission settings in Campus Labs.

I am a new program; I do not have any assessment data yet! Do I still have to turn in a report?

If your program is new or newly modified, you may want to submit your assessment plan for review. USLOAC can provide feedback on plans as well as reports!

If your program is new or newly modified, you may want to submit your assessment plan for review. USLOAC can provide feedback on plans as well as reports!

USLOAC provides feedback on assessment reports based on a checklist for principles of best practices for academic program assessment and we use a rubric for measures of program learning outcomes.
If you are turning in an assessment plan for review, we use a rubric from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ Rubric for Assessing the Quality of Academic Program Learning.

The voting members on USLOAC are all faculty members representing each college. Two members are assigned to review each assessment report. Initially, they use an evaluation checklist and their thoughts are shared in discussion with the full USLOAC committee at our bi-monthly meetings.

After the discussion, the primary reviewer enters a commentary report and a rating based on a rubric. All of this information is considered in the feedback letters, which are prepared by the Chair of USLOAC (the Director of Assessment for Academic Affairs).

See Rubrics in Campus Labs announcements and the Evaluation Checklist for detailed criteria.
Please see the USLOAC website: https://www.csudh.edu/academic-affairs/student-learning/

Should I be doing a new assessment for 20/21?

Yes. While we have a grace period for the assessment report for AY 2019-2020 that is due in fall 2020, we do anticipate continuous assessment of PLOs for the coming year. USLOAC expects that program assessment committees will be engaging in ongoing assessments of PLOs through the coming year, such that they maintain their plans to review all PLOs (at least once) during the program review cycle. Therefore, please consider the feedback letters for conducting your assessments this year. The regular cycle is that programs design their assessment, collect evidence of student work and data, and begin analyzing the information during the academic year. We provide the opportunity to turn in assessment reports in the fall in order to give faculty time to analyze their results and discuss findings with their faculty so that they can provide meaningful reports and come to their own recommendations for action items for further assessment. 

Do I need to assess all options or concentrations in my program?

No. We are only required to assess the programs with full degrees (such as BA, BS, MA, MS, etc.) and so if you have multiple options, but only one degree, then you need to assess the one program. You may wish to design your assessment such that you can focus on specific options, but only the PLOs need to be assessed formally.  USLOAC is always happy to review different options at your request, but that is voluntary.

Can I get an extension?

Please contact Dr. Matt G. Mutchler (mmutchler@csudh.edu) if your program needs an extension. USLOAC reviews all reports based on when we receive them.

Whom do I contact if I have questions or need assistance uploading reports?

Please contact the Director of Assessment in Academic Affairs (Dr. Mutchler at mmutchler@csudh.edu) and/or your college liaison:  

CNBS and CHHSN Liaison and Voting Member: Dr. Matt G Mutchler, Director of Assessment and USLOAC Chair: mmutchler@csudh.edu

CAH Liaison and Voting Member: Ms. Tessa Withorn, USLOAC Member, Library: twithorn@csudh.edu

CHHSN Liaison and Voting Member: Dr. Susan D. Einbinder, USLOAC Member, CHHSN: sdeinbinder@csudh.edu

COE Liaison and Voting Member: Dr. Yesenia Fernandez, USLOAC Member, COE: yfernandez@csudh.edu

CNBS Liaison and Voting Member: Dr. Sonal Singhal, USLOAC Member, ssinghal@csudh.edu

CBAPP Liaison and Voting Member: Dr. Rui Sun, USLOAC Member, CBAPP: rsun@csudh.edu

CAH Liaison and Voting Member: Dr. Victoria Kim, USLOAC Member, CAH: vkim@csudh.edu

When will I get a feedback letter?

USLOAC will review your assessment report during the spring semester, and feedback letters are typically sent over the summer each year. Programs that turn in their reports by November 13 will be reviewed first. Feedback is provided to help programs improve their assessment processes, and can be used for ongoing assessment activities.

This year, USLOAC completed reviews in the summer (due to delays related to the pandemic and other social crises), and some feedback letters will be sent in early in the fall semester. Please review the feedback letter in the spirit of accepting useful tips and advice for improving your assessment of student learning in your program from other faculty. You may use the feedback for future assessments as the feedback is meant to be helpful in general for all of your PLOs.

You may also find previous feedback letters in Campus Labs under the Documents tab.

Why is continuous assessment of my program’s student learning outcomes important to do every year?

Continuous academic program assessment is important for many reasons. When you engage in ongoing reflection on your program’s student learning outcomes, it supports a strong culture around the importance of focusing on the students’ experiences of learning and how you can build on your own strengths. When faculty have regular discussions about assessment, they can work toward common goals, unifying your program. Doing regular program assessment is also important for accreditation, which provides credibility to serious academic programs. Since every program comes up for program review, program assessment can be your “friend” helping you to make your case for resources you need and professional development based on evidence. Ultimately, program assessment of student learning outcomes is all about our students and helping them learn as much as they can. Program assessment can help you highlight what your program is doing well.

What is the role of USLOAC at CSUDH?

The role of USLOAC at CSUDH is to provide constructive feedback for all degree granting academic programs to improve assessment and enhance student learning in their programs. 

What is the assessment committee looking for when they review our reports?

We look for best practices in assessment. These best practices are outlined in our evaluation checklist. We also use rubrics to provide assessments of plans and reports. Please see the USLOAC website for these resources: https://www.csudh.edu/academic-affairs/student-learning/

Why do we turn in our reports in Campus Labs?

The reason USLOAC asks you to turn your reports into Campus Labs is because it provides a centralized location for collecting, processing, and responding to all assessment activities at our institution. Campus Labs allows us to collect all of the information you provide, refer to it, and also analyze data across years of assessment and also across programs. This information allows us all to refer to the same documents and build assessments that are more meaningful. Campus Labs also facilitates the generation of reports, which are necessary for sharing our success stories and our activities with each other, the public, and our accreditation bodies.

How are my annual program assessments related to program review and curriculum review?

During program review, you will be asked about your assessment work over the review period. The program review committee will expect that you have been engaging in continuous program assessment and that you have turned in assessment reports each year. USLOAC reviews can be your “friend” during this process, helping you provide some data and evidence about what you are doing well and improvements you have made to your program. The process also reflects your deeply held values and dedication to student learning. If you are going through curriculum review for a new program or a program modification, they will ask for your assessment plans and curriculum maps. They may also ask you to consult with members of USLOAC for advice and tips on these planning documents.

What can I do to have a more meaningful assessment process?

It may be helpful to know that you do not have to do the “same old thing” or just “check boxes.” You can take small, feasible steps to deepen and enrich your assessment process. If you are feeling overwhelmed, there may be ways to share the burden by forming an assessment committee or asking USLOAC members for guidance.

Many programs can improve their assessment processes by developing more detailed assessment rubrics for each of their PLOs. Sometimes, programs default to using grades or grading rubrics, but the problem with this is that grades often reflect multiple things or many PLOs at once, so they may not provide meaningful data on specific PLOs. This is why it is important to focus on unique rubrics for each PLO assessment. Developing a meaningful rubric is a major task, and it can lead to very engaging and rewarding conversations amongst the faculty (and students) regarding the goals of student learning and how to assess the outcomes.
This is one reason why we are accepting rubrics for review, as they are very critical tools for assessment. In fact, once you have a meaningful rubric, you can have fun assessment parties that may not take as long as you think.

It may be more feasible to choose to focus in on one PLO if you have a new rubric that year, or you may choose to do a “pilot” assessment of the PLO, testing out the rubric with a smaller sample. Just let USLOAC know that you are doing this. By forming an assessment committee, it will make assessment part of what your faculty regularly does and you can discuss your updates at faculty meetings. We also suggest that you have a plan for “closing the loop”. This means that, based on PLO data, you convene the full department to discuss the results and think about possible ways to improve your program and then assess the improvements moving forward. USLOAC loves to hear about success stories and evidence-based program improvements. This may help ensure a more meaningful process and enhanced student learning in your program.

Why do I need to link my program outcomes to institutional learning outcomes?

We are all in this together and we are all on the same side of student learning at CSUDH. Our Institutional Learning Outcomes are a unifying force that brings all of us together toward common goals. While each program has their own PLOs, they can all be linked to ILOs. Linking to an ILO in Campus Labs also helps us generate reports on how our programs are doing as a whole on learning outcomes. This facilitated the sharing of institutional data on student learning and allows us all to reflect on how we are doing in order to improve student learning at CSUDH.

Where can I find examples of assessment materials from CSUDH?

Please visit our website for more information, resources, and tools: https://www.csudh.edu/academic-affairs/student-learning/

You can also find additional resources in Campus Labs under announcements.

You may also attend a meeting of USLOAC by contacting Dr. Mutchler and asking to be added to an agenda.