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Aligning Assessment Across All University Levels
Unformatted Document Text:  To meet these requirements, CSUSM’s proposal form includes a student learning outcomes matrix, which must be completed (see Appendix 3). Adding even more emphasis on the importance of assessment, and as part of an intense effort to make assessment part of our daily culture, CSUSM has initiated an annual process, which requires academic departments to submit a assessment plan and a subsequent report explaining how they implemented and what they learned from implementing their plan, and how they plan to respond to what they learned (CSUSM: Academic Affairs – Strategic Planning & Assessment 2007a). Two elements are critical to the success of this process: (1) Everyone involved in the process – from the Provost to the Academic Senate Program Assessment Standing Committee responsible for implementing this process – has made it explicitly clear that this is to be a normative and iterative process, which starts small. Departmental faculty realize they may only be looking at one or two SLOs for the first few years before moving on to an eventual comprehensive review; in fact, it may be that for the duration of this assessment effort, faculty will examine the value of one or two SLOs each year. (2) The campus is providing resources in support of the effort – both financial and knowledge. Departments can apply for up to $1,500 each year to implement their assessment plans; and they have access to Peggy Maki, a highly- regarded assessment consultant (Maki 2004a; 2004b) to help them develop SLOs and to draft their assessment plans. CSUSM’s current Program Evaluation and Planning policy focuses almost exclusively on student learning outcomes (SLOs) identification and assessment (CSUSM: Academic Affairs – Strategic Planning & Assessment 2007b). 2 Departments are asked about departmental SLOs for graduates and courses, about how these SLOs are assessed beyond standard grading (e.g., 2 In fact, the policy is undergoing a revision even as I write this paper because all parties to the review – department faculty, Academic Deans, the Provost, the Academic Senate and its Program Assessment Committee, and external reviewers – find that the focus on SLOs is too narrow. The goal is to re-balance the focus on inputs and outcomes so that the review can be useful to everyone engaged in the evaluation process. Aligning Assessment Across All Levels page 13 of 34

Authors: Golich, Vicki.
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To meet these requirements, CSUSM’s proposal form includes a student learning outcomes
matrix, which must be completed (see Appendix 3).
Adding even more emphasis on the importance of assessment, and as part of an intense effort
to make assessment part of our daily culture, CSUSM has initiated an annual process, which
requires academic departments to submit a assessment plan and a subsequent report explaining
how they implemented and what they learned from implementing their plan, and how they plan
to respond to what they learned (CSUSM: Academic Affairs – Strategic Planning & Assessment
2007a). Two elements are critical to the success of this process: (1) Everyone involved in the
process – from the Provost to the Academic Senate Program Assessment Standing Committee
responsible for implementing this process – has made it explicitly clear that this is to be a
normative and iterative process, which starts small. Departmental faculty realize they may only
be looking at one or two SLOs for the first few years before moving on to an eventual
comprehensive review; in fact, it may be that for the duration of this assessment effort, faculty
will examine the value of one or two SLOs each year. (2) The campus is providing resources in
support of the effort – both financial and knowledge. Departments can apply for up to $1,500
each year to implement their assessment plans; and they have access to Peggy Maki, a highly-
regarded assessment consultant (Maki 2004a; 2004b) to help them develop SLOs and to draft
their assessment plans.
CSUSM’s current Program Evaluation and Planning policy focuses almost exclusively on
student learning outcomes (SLOs) identification and assessment (CSUSM: Academic Affairs –
Strategic Planning & Assessment 2007b).
Departments are asked about departmental SLOs for
graduates and courses, about how these SLOs are assessed beyond standard grading (e.g.,
2
In fact, the policy is undergoing a revision even as I write this paper because all parties to the review – department faculty,
Academic Deans, the Provost, the Academic Senate and its Program Assessment Committee, and external reviewers – find that
the focus on SLOs is too narrow. The goal is to re-balance the focus on inputs and outcomes so that the review can be useful to
everyone engaged in the evaluation process.
Aligning Assessment Across All Levels
page 13 of 34


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