Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education

Author's Home Page 

Section 1
Intro Part 2
Course Topics
Training SLOs Training Tools
Training Strategies

Section 2
Background and Rationale for Assessment

Section 3
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Section 4
Assessment Tools and Data

Section 5
Course Assessment

Section 6
Program Assessment


Section 7
Closing the Loop

Section 8
Implementing Assessment Training on Campus


Section 9
References & Resources



Using Materials from this Website

Section 1 - Introduction 

Welcome to a website designed to introduce faculty to Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and assessment. The purpose of this website is to make assessment possible and practical in any course or program.

Good assessment requires faculty with expertise and resources
   to measure and report learning
        in a variety of courses
             under diverse conditions
                  about students with varied abilities
                       and disparate levels of academic engagement. 

Higher education faculty members are hired for their discipline expertise.  Training in pedagogy and assessment often occurs on the run.  Many of us emulate the most effective faculty from our own college experience.  But assessing student learning is not new to faculty; we do this every semester as we evaluate student work.  However, meeting the assessment expectations delineated in the new accreditation standards requires conventions beyond typical grading. The good news is that assessment practices can make student evaluation more meaningful, benefit your teaching, and improve student learning. 

Campuses and classroom sections may require different strategies to accomplish the same outcomes. This means that faculty must be both discipline experts and skilled assessment practitioners. The goal of this website is to equip faculty by making training and assessment tools easily accessible. Use and modify any materials found on this website to fit your particular classroom or program or for faculty development workshops. (Please check out the limited, but  specific usage requirements found on the navigation bar - Using Materials from this Website.)

The material on the website is organized into eight major topic areas designed to take about 45-60 minutes to complete. Strategies for using this material to train faculty in workshops, rather than individual online use, are discussed in a Section 8. Each section can be downloaded and modified for handouts designed for live workshops. When used in this manner each section will approximately 2 - 3 hours depending on the number of people and the amount of discussion.

*Personal note. While I hope this material is useful to many faculty, it was developed to aid the faculty of the 109 California Community Colleges and over 2.9 million students. For this reason, material will often directly address the specific details of the ACCJC-WASC accreditation standards and California-specific situations.

Proceed to Introduction Part 2 - Knowing What Students Can DO

Resources and Links

Printable versions Section 1
Cover and
(8 pages)

Section 2 
Assessment Background
(24 pages)

Section 3
SLOs as a Workbook
(31 pages)

Section 4 Assessment Tools and Data as a Workbook
(34 pages)

Section 5 Program Assessment as a Workbook
(42 pages)

Section 6
Program Assessment as a Workbook

(31 pages)

Section 7 Closing the Loop
 as a Workbook

(14 pages)

Section 8 Implementing Assessment Training
 as a Workbook
(27 pages)

American Association for Higher Education
Nine Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning

SLOs and Assessment for this Workshop


Janet Fulks ( & Kate Pluta (
Assessing Student Learning in Community Colleges (2004), Bakersfield College