Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education

Section 1

Section 2
Background  Survey
What is Assessment?
Why Assessment? Accountability
Educational Improvement
Formative Feedback
Learning Paradigm
Prompting Learning

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

Why Assessment? Educational Improvement

“Post secondary assessment done right must be rooted in the course and in the classroom, in the individual cells, to speak metaphorically, where the metabolism of learning actually takes place” (Wright, 1999).

“Classroom assessment is the purest form of assessment-for-improvement, because the information gleaned can be immediately used to improve teaching and learning …the further away from the individual classroom you get, the harder it becomes to turn assessment data into useable information” (Miller, 1997)

Classroom assessment data has unique features which make it especially useful for producing immediate and palpable improvement in learning. Classroom assessment can:

bullet guide teaching that targets appropriate levels of Bloom's taxonomy and deep versus superficial learning. (Check out the link on Deep Learning.)
bullet provide immediate feedback, the most powerful method known for improving learning.
bullet develop a conduit for diagnostic feedback to adjusting pedagogy effectiveness.
bullet motivate faculty and students and invigorate professional dialogue.
bullet link educational tracks and goals into a cohesive pathway for students.
bullet move the institution towards the learning paradigm.

Proceed to Assessment for Learning

Resources and Links

Evaluating learning in individual courses.    Wright, 1999.

Doing Assessment as if Learning Matters Most. Angelo, 1999

Background Information on Deep Learning


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