Assessment at Glen Oaks Community College
At Glen Oaks Community College, we believe that institutional success is measured in large part by student success. Therefore, the College is committed to improving student learning, and we believe that assessment provides one of the best tools for achieving that improvement by furnishing us with feedback about the effectiveness of teaching and the quality of learning. Such assessment must be both formative and summative, should take place using multiple methods at all levels, and should be ongoing and systematic.
“…institutional assessment efforts should not be concerned about valuing what can be
measured but, instead, about measuring that which is valued.”
— Banta, Lund, Black, & Oblander (1996)
What is Assessment?
Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning. It involves making our expectations explicit and public; setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning quality; systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards; and using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance. When it is embedded effectively within larger institutional systems, assessment can help us focus our collective attention, examine our assumptions, and create a shared academic culture dedicated to assuring and improving the quality of higher education (Thomas A. Angelo, AAHE Bulletin, November 1995, p.7).
There are three general types of assessment in which the college engages – course, program, and general education assessment.
Glen Oaks Student Learning Outcomes
Glen Oaks Community College strives to help students develop the ability over their lifetime to do the following:
- Acquire and apply the knowledge and skills appropriate for career and personal goals.
- Communicate effectively through reading, writing, speaking, listening, and visual/nonverbal skills.
- Embrace and apply lifelong learning.
- Engage in healthy physical, intellectual, emotional, and social behaviors.
- Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
- Accept the constancy of change at personal, local, and global levels; adapt effectively.
- Maintain technological competencies.
- Serve others and community.
Developed by faculty, staff, and students–February, 2009
Glen Oaks Participation in the Academy for Assessment of Student Learning (HLC)
In June, 2008, the Assessment Team attended the Academy for Assessment of Student Learning workshop offered through the Higher Learning Commission to its member institutions. The Assessment Academy provides participants with a four-year sequence of events and activities designed to focus on assisting institutions in assessing and improving student learning and building an institution-wide commitment to assessment of student learning. Guided by work with the Academy and with input from a wide array of stakeholders, the College established a comprehensive student learning project. Although formal participation in the Academy is complete, the Assessment Team continues to play an active role in assisting the College in quality improvement efforts.
Assessment at Glen Oaks
Course assessment is the assessment of student learning at the individual course level. A course should be assessed for whether students are achieving the learning outcomes as stated in the syllabus for that course. Course assessment is often accomplished through tools such as exams, portfolios, or projects.
Program assessment or program review is the assessment of student learning within a particular academic program leading to a degree or certificate. A program should be assessed for whether students are achieving the learning outcomes developed by the appropriate department(s). Program assessment is often done through capstone experiences, portfolios, graduate or employer surveys, or licensure exams. Program assessment is not the evaluation of student achievement of learning objectives within courses that are part of the program, but rather of students’ overall achievement of the broad goals of the academic program (e.g. employment, mastery of certain skills, successful transfer, etc.)
General Education Assessment
General Education Assessment is the assessment of student learning within the curricular areas meeting the College’s general education requirements for a degree: writing, speech, mathematics, natural science, social and behavioral science, arts and humanities, critical thinking, and computer information literacy. Because the general education requirement is an institutional requirement that crosses disciplines, assessment occurs on a broader scale than course or program assessment. The general education areas are assessed for whether students are achieving the learning outcomes as stated in the College Catalog for each area. General education assessment is currently done through standardized testing (writing, mathematics, and natural science), surveys or prompts (social and behavioral science and arts and humanities), evaluated speeches (speech), and institutionally developed or administered exams (critical thinking and computer and information literacy). General education assessment may occur in any of the courses that meet the general education requirement, and certain institutional assessments may also take place in courses outside the general educational areas.