Assessment of Student Learning
Columbia's assessment philosophy is based on the idea that the actual "data" we are seeking are contained in the conversations we have about the data. That is, greater awareness, understanding, and transformation will result from our collecting and reporting efforts, if we create opportunities to discuss the data with our colleagues. As Margaret Wheatley (2002) noted, conversation is the natural way humans think together.
Questions for Conversations on Student Learning
(Adapted from the Higher Learning Commission’s Statement on Assessment of Student Learning)
- How are stated student learning outcomes appropriate to Columbia's mission, programs, degrees, and students?
- What evidence do we have that students achieve our stated learning outcomes?
- In what ways do we analyze and use evidence of student learning?
- How do we ensure shared responsibility for student learning and for assessment of student learning?
- How do you evaluate and improve the effectiveness of our efforts to assess and improve student learning?
- In what ways do we inform the public and other stakeholders about what and how well your students are learning?
Reference: Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future, by Margaret J. Wheatley, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2002.
Assessment at Columbia
The Evaluation and Assessment office consults with academic units as they develop and implement strategies to measure student learning at the program level. Strategies include the identification of learning outcomes, the means for measuring student learning on those outcomes, and follow-up activities to review and act on assessment data. The purpose of these efforts is to provide information that can be used to improve student learning.