Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education

 Section 1

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
Vehicle for Implementation
  The Core Committee
 Assessment Audit
Campus-wide Logistics

Training Leaders
Campus Training
Closing the Loop
Sustaining Assessment

Section 9
References & Resources



Using Materials from this Website


Step 2: Steering Committee Structure and Budget

Step 2: Develop a Steering Committee Structure and Budget.

Determine whether this will be a subcommittee of another standing committee or whether an entire existing committee can reorient time and energy for the initial learning curve. (For instance, the Institutional Effectiveness or Program Review Committee might set aside one year of duties (e.g. reviews) to organize and carry out training)

*Have broad multidisciplinary representation with adequate administrative members and try to include adjunct faculty. (In addition if classified staff or students can participate this is can be helpful.)

Elect a faculty chair or create a co-chair position with a faculty member and administrator if this is a subcommittee or new committee.

Train the core team using the training material available in the workbook or online at .

Develop a budget immediately. Anticipate and fund campus-wide events, discipline (department) training events, guest speakers, a set of library resources, or books for faculty. A few examples are enumerated below.

Potential Budget Expenses                               

Estimated Costs

Library of Assessment Texts

Sample texts:

Classroom Assessment Techniques, Angelo and Cross, 1993

Assessment for Excellence, Astin, 1993

Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses, Huba and Freed, 2000

How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, NRC, 2002

Knowing What Students Know, NRC, 2001

A Practitioner’s Handbook for Institutional Effectiveness and Student Outcomes Assessment Implementation, Nichols, 1995

A Learning College for the 21st Century, O’Banion, 1997

Assessment Essentials: Planning, Implementing, and Improving Assessment in Higher Education, Palomba and Banta, 1999

Student-Centered Classroom Assessment, Stiggens, 1994.

Effective Grading, Walvoord and Anderson, 1998

Assessment Clear and Simple, Walvoord, 2004

The Art of Changing the Brain, Zull, 2002

$400 - $600

Outside Speakers – e.g. Tom Angelo, Virginia Anderson, Peter Ewell, Douglas Eder, Terry O’Banion, WASC representatives, local experts, RP group workshop leaders

$1000-2000-5000 (depending on speaker)

Outside Assessment Conferences –

AAHE, AACU, IUPUI, and others

$250-2000 each

Training Workshops on Campus (multidisciplinary & by disciplines)

$1000 - 3000

Remunerations, stipends, reassign time – This should be consistent with campus policy and union contracts. This is instructional work and can be used as numerator expenses for the 50% Law.

Depends on campus and budget.

This is not a large budget; compare it to many other budgets on campus which yield little in the way of educational improvement. The committee must have some budget to begin or they will be hobbled before they begin.
*Several key features in this plan are a result of analyzing data and feedback from over 300 faculty and administrators attending SLO and Assessment workshop training. These essential features are marked with an asterisk and represent recurring concerns or statements from community faculty and administrators throughout California.

Proceed to the Assessment Audit

Resources and Links

Images are linked to the publishers website.

The publisher has asked that I include a special discount code
HE04 for multiple copy purchases of any books on their site.

National Academy Press Cover Image

Display Catalog Information


Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment

Assessment: Clear and Simple



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