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Analyzing Assessment Results and Taking Actions
Outcomes Assessment

 Assessment Loop

Results and Actions Taken Defined

Results of assessment consist of the combined data from sections of a course (for course SLO analysis) or courses (for program SLO analysis) and are compared to the expected level of achievement specified in the course or program SLO methodology. 

Taking actions based on the results of your assessment is the final step in your assessment. This phase of the assessment process is referred to as "closing the loop." Actions that can be taken include changing aspects of a course or instruction in the classroom to improve student learning, revising SLOs, or revising methodologies.

This web page is designed to assist you as you analyze your results and decide on actions to take. 

Analyzing your Assessment Results

As stated above, analysis of your results will depend on the methodology your course or program has previously decided upon. The majority of programs calculate percentages to determine whether students are learning what they should be learning in their courses or programs (i.e., calculate the percentage of students in a course or program who met a previously specified level of achievement on exam questions, a rubric, etc...and compare this percentage to the percentage of students that were expected to meet this level of achievement). However, some programs, especially ones who use the pre-test/post-test methodology decide to use more powerful statistics, such as t-tests to determine whether significant differences in student learning have occurred by the end of a semester.

Deriving Meaning from Assessment Results

To derive meaning from program or course assessment results faculty have to dig deeper into their results than just the overall percentage of students who have or have not met an expected level of achievement. Examining data for certain types of patterns should help faculty to discover the story behind the data. Common patterns to look for include patterns of consistency, consensus, and distinctiveness. How to look for these patterns is explained in the document below. 

Discovering Patterns in Data

If you would like assistance in your data analysis, the Educational Assessment Research Analyst is always available to analyze and interpret your data, as well as to explain the results to you and your department. 

Discussing Your Results 

Regardless of who analyzes your data, your course and program level SLO results, as well as the entire assessment process should be discussed among faculty at your department meetings to determine further meaning behind the results and what actions to take. At the meetings, faculty should share copies of the assessment instrument (e.g., rubric, exam questions, survey), the assessment plan, and the results with those involved in the discussion. Make a record of your discussion to include in the results and actions taken portions of your assessment plans. 

The following documents include questions that can assist you in creating and sustaining a lively and thought-provoking discussion with faculty regarding every aspect of the assessment process for a course or program. 

Guiding Questions for Course SLO Results
Guiding Questions for Program SLO Results

Determining Actions to Take

Actions taken are truly at the heart of the assessment process, as they inform the refinement and improvement of instructional courses and programs. Actions taken should be considered a critical component of the assessment loop. Regardless of whether or not the expected level of achievement was met, faculty should be taking action to improve student learning in their classrooms or the assessment process itself. The following PDFs are meant to guide faculty in determining what actions to take following their discussion of the assessment results. 

Course SLO Actions Taken Suggestions
Program SLO Actions Taken Suggestions