Internal Reporting

Information about internal reporting including Faculty Activity Reports, Student Course Evaluation, and Departmental Reports is available on the Assessment Reports page (restricted access).

Faculty Activity Report

Defining the Mission Statement

The mission statement of the department or unit defines, in one or two paragraphs, its goals, values and aspirations as related to the university vision and strategic goals. It should also indicate the most important functions of the department/unit.

Defining Unit Objectives

Objectives are statements of ways in which a unit aims at achieving its mission, how processes should work and what their optimal result should be. Objectives should be measurable and attainable.

Defining Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes are statements of the knowledge, skills and abilities individual students should possess and can demonstrate upon completion of a learning experience or sequence of learning experiences. They should be measurable, attainable within the context of the learning unit (program, course, specific activity) and should contribute to the mission of the department.

You should develop 3-5 learning outcomes for your program. MSCHE provides guidelines in chapter 2 of the handbook on Student Learning Assessment: Options and Resources (2nd Edition, 2007). I would also recommend this more practical guide of the University of Richmond (see section 3 on creating learning outcomes). Here is a quick summary:

  • Learning outcomes should be specific and well-defined
  • Learning outcomes should be realistic
  • Learning outcomes should rely on active verbs in the future tense
  • Learning outcomes should be framed in terms of the program instead of specific classes that the program offers
  • Learning outcomes should align with the program’s curriculum (see alignment matrices: for alignment of program to institution and alignment of courses to programs)
  • Learning outcomes should be simple and not compound
  • Learning outcomes should focus on learning products and not the learning process

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (1956) is one traditional framework for structuring learning outcomes. Levels of performance for Bloom’s cognitive domain include knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. These categories are arranged in ascending order of cognitive complexity where evaluation represents the highest level. The table below presents a description of the levels of performance for Bloom’s cognitive domain. 

bloom taxonomy

Sample Learning Outcomes from the same guide of the University of Richmond

  • Languages and Literature:
    • Students will be able to apply critical terms and methodology in completing a literary analysis following the conventions of standard written English.
    • Students will be able to locate, apply and cite effective secondary materials in their own texts.
    • Students will be able to analyze and interpret texts within the contexts they are written.
    • French students will be able to demonstrate oral competence with suitable accuracy in pronunciation, vocabulary, and language fluency.
    • French students will be able to produce written work that is substantive, organized, and grammatically accurate.
    • French students will be able to accurately read and translate French texts.
  • Humanities and Fine Arts:
    • Students will be able to demonstrate fluency with formal vocabulary, artistic techniques and procedures of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art practice.
    • Students will demonstrate in-depth knowledge of artistic periods used to interpret works of art including the historical, social and philosophical contexts .
    • Students will be able to critique and analyze works of art and visual objects .
    • Students will be able to identify musical elements, take them down at dictation, and perform them at sight.
    • Students will be able to communicate both orally and verbally about music of all genres and styles in a clear and articulate manner.
    • Students will be able to perform a variety of memorized songs from a standard of at least two foreign languages.
    • Students will be able to apply performance theory in the analysis and evaluation of performances and texts.
    • Students will be able to analyze and interpret scripts.
    • Students will demonstrate in-dept knowledge and understanding of contemporary theatre forms and artists.
    • Students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in a variety of dance styles, including ballet, modern dance, jazz, and tap
  • Physical and Biological Sciences:
    • Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of core knowledge in biochemistry and molecular biology.
    • Students will be able to apply critical thinking and analytical skills to solve scientific data sets.
    • Students will be able to apply the scientific method to solve problems.
    • Students will be able to demonstrate written, visual, and/or oral presentation skills to communicate scientific knowledge.
    • Students will be able to acquire and synthesize scientific information from a variety of sources.
    • Students will be able to apply techniques and instrumentation to solve problems.
  • Mathematics:
    • Students will be able to translate problems for treatment within a symbolic system.
    • Students will be able to articulate the rules that govern a symbolic system.
    • Students will be able apply algorithmic techniques to solve problems and obtain valid solutions.
    • Students will be able to judge the reasonableness of obtained solutions.
  • Social Sciences:
    • Students will be able to write persuasively to communicate their scientific ideas clearly.
    • Students will be able to test hypotheses and draw correct inferences using quantitative analysis.
    • Students will be able to evaluate theory and critique research within the discipline.
  • Business:
    • Students will be able to work in groups and be part of an effective team.
    • Students will be able to communicate business knowledge both orally and written.
    • Students will be able to recognize and respond appropriately to an ethical and regulatory dilemma.
    • Students will be able to recognize and diagnose accounting problems.
    • Students will demonstrate disciplinary competence in a field of business.
Assessment Methodologies - Measures for Learning Outcomes

Describe how a learning outcome has been (or will be) assessed. The emphasis is on producing direct evidence such as creations, research papers, responses to tests.

Examples of direct evidence (taken from this list of methods for the assessment of student learning recommended on the MSCHE web site):

  • Scoring of a certain test or presentation using a rubric
  • Portfolios of student work
  • Scores on locally-designed multiple choice and/or essay tests such as final examinations in key courses, qualifying examinations, and comprehensive examinations, accompanied by test “blueprints” describing what the tests assess

Indirect evidence, such as students' perceptions of their learning and the educational environment, may also be used.

Examples of indirect evidence (taken from the list of methods for the assessment of student learning recommended on the MSCHE web site):

  • Student satisfaction, alumni, and employer surveys
  • Course grades
  • Assignment grades, if not accompanied by a rubric or scoring guide

NOTE: Indirect methods alone do not provide adequate information about student learning outcomes.

Reference Documents

Assessment General
Administrative Units
Dashboards

These are some notes about dashboard products that we have been looking at. The list is far from being complete, suggestions are welcome.

Benchmarking
Retention
Course Evaluations

(marked with a star * are the papers that I found particularly interesting, but all papers listed here have been selected because they analyse an interesting aspect of course evaluations)

Syllabi

A faculty member can access his/her syllabi via his/her profile on MyAUP at ‘MyAUP / My Profile / Faculty / My Courses’ or directly here.

For each course offering a variety of actions are available:

  • Create Syllabus: If no syllabus exists for this offering.
  • Edit & View Syllabus: If a syllabus exists for this offering.
  • View PDF Archive: If an archived PDF exists for this offering.

Please read the frequently asked questions and user guide for more information (use the link under ‘My Courses’).

Syllabi are available to students via the Course Catalog