Using the information and evidence from Phase 1 and Phase 2, the academic program can now determine whether or not their student learning outcomes are being achieved. In Phase 3, the faculty can decide what concepts or skills are in need of reinforcement, and determine how the curriculum should be modified.
Specify what action will be taken to improve learning. Based on the interpretation of results, the following questions should be considered:
- What can be improved?
- How should these changes be made?
The assessment process should foster action. Focus on one or two action items each year and decide who will be responsible for follow-up. As you implement your action plans, keep written records of activities related to the action as documentation of the process. Certain action items may be long term and results are reported in subsequent years.
Follow-up refers to the plan for determining whether or not the action steps successfully improved the academic program. This section of the Assessment and Action Plan documents the impact of previous assessment cycles and closes the assessment loop.
Phase 3 for an Example Academic Program
Based on the results and interpretation from Phase 2, what action will be taken?
How will you determine if the change made a difference?
The sequence of topics in AGRI 230 will be revised, putting aeration later in the course. In addition, faculty will review how key aeration concepts are reinforced later in the curriculum.
Increase in student achievement rating to criteria: 90% of the students achieve ratings of good or better in all dimensions.
Improving Unit Assessment Processes
After completing Phase 3, faculty should be provided an opportunity to recommend improvements to the unit’s assessment processes.
Possible recommendations could include:
- Identifying the need for more, or different, measures for specific outcomes.
- Determining the need to streamline the process of collecting information.
- Identifying additional faculty who should be involved in assessment activities.These recommendations should be included at the end of the Assessment and Action Plan.