UT Health Science Center: IE100 – Student Learning Assessment
No./Title: IE100 – STUDENT LEARNING ASSESSMENT
Resp. Office: Institutional Effectiveness Approval Body: CASA
Effective Date: 04/16/2013
Category: Institutional Effectiveness
Last Review: 09/07/2021
Next Review: 09/07/2024
Contact: Allen Dupont, Director Institutional Effectiveness Office
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) recognizes the importance of ongoing monitoring and improvement of students developing the knowledge, skills, professional ethics, and attitudes that are appropriate for graduates of their respective academic programs. To that end, all UTHSC academic programs have processes for collection and assessment of data on student learning outcomes to be used for continuous improvement of the quality of the teaching and the learning experience. Continuous assessment is intended to improve the quality of learning in all UTHSC academic programs. Programs report annually their assessment activities to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness as detailed below.
RATIONALE AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Assessment of student learning outcomes benefits UTHSC and its current and future students by providing the framework for continuous improvement in educational outcomes. It ensures that graduating students have mastered the skills, knowledge, professional ethics, and attitudes necessary for them to be successful clinical practitioners and researchers.
The following principles guide assessment of student learning outcomes at UTHSC:
- Program faculty create, manage, and assess all curricular efforts at UTHSC. Each academic unit determines the specific student learning outcomes to be measured as well as the instruments and procedures to be used for assessing student learning and for sharing the data with stakeholders. Within this framework, both process (how assessment is performed) and outcomes (achieved results) are important. The assessment of student learning is expected to stimulate, as appropriate, discussions among faculty of program learning goals, program curriculum, and pedagogy to improve learning.
Program assessment is the responsibility of all academic programs. Documentation of assessment strategies should include (but not be limited to):
- Publication of student learning outcomes – Clear statements of what students are expected to know and be able to do upon completion of the program should be provided to the students.
- Ongoing review of outcomes – Student learning outcomes should be periodically reviewed by program faculty. Assessment should be based on multiple direct and indirect measures and assessment activities should be designed to identify both strengths and challenges. Efforts to correct deficiencies to improve outcomes should be recorded.
- Development of Assessment Plans – plans should include a regular and on-going cycle for collecting and analyzing assessment results, for discussing curricular and programmatic changes, and for implementing those changes. The review cycle should be posted and followed.
- Reports of assessment activities – Reports should be provided to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness annually, encompassing results from the prior year and listing plans for change that are planned to enhance learning outcomes.
Although assessment begins within the academic unit, these efforts are supported by the UTHSC Office of Institutional Effectiveness. The responsibilities of the academic program and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness are as follows:
Role of the Academic Units in Assessment
- Develop academic assessment plans (includes student learning outcomes and indicators or measures of student learning) and update plans on a five-year cycle
- Provide annual summary reports on assessment activities to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness
- Review academic assessment plans and activities periodically to ensure they are leading to program improvement
- Provide regular feedback to program faculty on assessment activities and conclusions reached as a result of assessment
- Promote the “conversation among faculty/staff” of the implications of academic assessment for program improvement
- Share assessment information with constituencies including students and program stakeholders
Role of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness
- Develop, coordinate, communicate, facilitate, and strengthen assessment processes and practices within UTHSC degree granting programs to focus on outcomes assessment for program improvement
- Review all assessment reports and provide feedback to program directors/college leadership
Effective: April 16, 2013
Revised: May 15, 2018, Committee on Academic and Student Affairs (CASA) Chancellor Approved: May 23, 2018
Reviewed: September 7, 2021, CASA
Approved: October 11, 2021, Chief Academic Officer