Online Resources

UCLA Reports

Guidelines for Developing and Assessing Student Learning Outcomes for Undergraduate Majors


Allen, M.J. (2004). Assessing academic programs in higher education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Allen’s book addresses how assessment is a critical component of the teaching and learning process and guides readers through all steps of the assessment process, providing perspective on different types of assessment strategies and offering examples to facilitate practice in different educational contexts. This material was especially helpful in creating multiple sections within the UCLA Guidelines.
Driscoll, A. and Cordero de Noriega, D. (Eds.) (2006). Taking ownership of accreditation: Assessment procedures that promote institutional improvement and faculty engagement. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
The contributors to this edited volume offer readers insights for using accreditation as a positive impetus for engaging faculty in scholarly inquiry about teaching and learning that can offer long- term educational benefits for students and faculty. These ideas were incorporated throughout the UCLA Guidelines.
Driscoll, A. and Wood, S. (2007). Developing outcomes-based assessment for learner-centered education: A faculty introduction. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
Driscoll and Wood provide a resource for helping faculty to develop and maintain ownership of assessment by articulating expectations, defining criteria and standards, and aligning course content with desired outcomes. Their recommendations provide a foundation for several sections of our UCLA Guidelines.
Hernon, P. and Dugan, R.E. (Eds.) (2004). Outcomes assessment in higher education: Views and perspectives. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.
This edited volume consists of contributions from individuals affiliated with assessment associations and regional accrediting bodies, faculty members, and others involved in different aspects of campus assessment activities. This information was instrumental in providing a foundation for the UCLA Guidelines.
Hernon, P., Dugan, R.E., and Schwartz, C. (Eds.). (2006). Revisiting outcomes assessment in higher education. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.
Like Hernon and Dugan’s 2004 work, this volume offers a cross-campus array of perspectives on outcomes assessment at the postsecondary level. Attention is specifically directed toward the increasing emphasis on outcomes assessment and on institutional progress in evaluating and reporting student learning. In creating the UCLA Guidelines, we found this information especially useful in framing the introductory portions.
Hersh, R. H. (2007). Collegiate learning assessment (CLA): Defining critical thinking, analytical reasoning, problem solving, and writing skills. (available online)
This article addresses establishing criteria for defining selected student learning outcomes. Included from this source as an example in the UCLA Guidelines are Hersh’s categories for evaluating writing skills.
Huba, M.E. and Freed, J.E. (2000). Learner-centered assessment on college campuses: Shifting the focus from teaching to learning. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Grounded in the principles of constructivist learning theory and continuous improvement, Huba and Freed provide an introduction to learner-centered assessment, including practical, ready-to- implement assessment techniques. Their suggestions for formulating learning outcomes, gathering evidence, and developing criteria for evaluating student informed multiple sections of the UCLA Guidelines.
Jonson, J. (2006). A guidebook for programmatic assessment of student learning outcomes: University of Nebraska, Lincoln. University of Nebraska, Lincoln: office of Undergraduate Studies.
Adapting and incorporating material from a variety of other sources, this guidebook address principles and practices for assessing student learning. Most useful in creating the UCLA guidebook was the section on “Sharing Assessment Results/Evidence” (based on material adapted from The Ball State Assessment Workbook (1999); Southeast Missouri State University’s Busy Chairperson’s Guide to Assessment (2001); and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst’s OAPA Handbook (date?). Specifically, we incorporated from this source the questions on reporting results and evaluating the assessment process that are included in the UCLA Guidelines.
Shoemaker, J. (2008). Guidelines for writing student learning outcomes. University of California, Irvine: Assessment & Research Studies, Division of Undergraduate Education. Irvine, CA.
This four-page document addresses questions that have been incorporated into our UCLA guidelines, adapting and/or directly extracting selected questions and content included in our UCLA Guidelines.
Suskie, L. (2009). Assessing student learning: A common sense guide, 2nd Edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Suskie offers introductory advice for faculty and administrators who are relatively new to learning outcomes assessment. She covers a wide range of topics including recommendations for engaging students in assessment efforts, which have been incorporated into the UCLA Guidelines.
Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WSCUC). (2015). Using Evidence in the WSCUC Accreditation Process Guide: A Guide for Institutions, 2nd Edition. (available online )
This report addresses the nature and uses of evidence for accreditation purposes and was used as a reference in creating the UCLA Guidelines with respect to defining what constitutes evidence from WSCUC’s perspective and delineating differences between direct and indirect evidence. (Updated for the 2013 Handbook of Accreditation)
Wright, B. D. (no date). More art than science: The postsecondary assessment movement today. (available online ).
Wright explains how assessment of student learning within postsecondary education has evolved significantly over the last 15-20 years. She addresses new conceptualizations of assessment as a tool for continuous improvement and considers the role accreditation has played in facilitating that shift. Also considered are the challenges associated with new expectations for assessing undergraduate student learning. This content was incorporated in various sections of the UCLA Guidelines, most notably the introduction, which includes an adapted version of “The Assessment Loop” highlighted in Wright’s piece.