These guidelines were developed to help departmental/program faculty and staff address a new and very important component of UCLA’s accreditation process that affects all of us who are involved with undergraduate education. In closing, a few final reminders:
- We’re all in this together. New accreditation-related requirements for documenting and assessing student learning outcomes are now a fact of academic life not only for those of us at UCLA, but at all colleges and universities across the country.
- Establish a solid foundation. Time spent working collaboratively with faculty colleagues to establish clear student learning outcomes and assessment plans will serve your program well when it comes to time to analyze the information that has been collected and to use resulting insights to inform curricular development.
- Keep it simple. Keep your assessment plan simple and focused so that it is meaningful, manageable, and sustainable. A series of simple, well-conceived assessment studies that can be completed under realistic constraints are much more likely than complicated study designs to result in the incremental improvements that characterize sustainable assessment programs
- Be flexible. There is no “one plan fits all” approach to assessment effectiveness. What works well for faculty in one program may not be useful for those in another. If a particular assessment study, or parts thereof, turn out not to work well, refine or find a better strategy.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help. For all of us, this is a new and sometimes frustrating, or otherwise perplexing, undertaking. Comments, questions, and requests for assistance are all very much welcomed!