WEAVEonline® is the primary tool the College uses to coordinate its assessment efforts. All academic programs have a mission statement, and enter outcomes/objectives, measures, findings and action plans each academic year. WEAVEonline® now has page-specific, expanded help features at the top right side of the screen if you need assistance with entering data into WEAVEonline®.
This is the overall purpose of your program, showing how you connect and contribute to the College’s overall work.
Outcomes/Objectives are brief, clear statements that describe desired outcomes in relation to broader goals. Educational programs MUST assess Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s). SLO’s are specific types of outcomes/objectives which define the Knowledge, Skills, Values, and Attitudes (Beliefs) the students will have achieved as a result of their educational experience in the program.
Below are examples of outcomes/objectives:
*The above listed examples are intended as a guide only.
A measure is a tool(s) used to determine if you have met your expected outcome. To increase the likelihood of valid results, you should use more than one measure for each outcome/objective if possible (see Appendix A for some of the research tools and data available). If you are struggling to identify a measure ask the following questions about your outcome/objective:
- How will we know if this is being accomplished?
- What will provide us this information?
For best results, use both direct and indirect measures and qualitative and quantitative measures. Below are some examples of the types of measures you might use:
Direct measures - objective measures of knowledge or ability. This is the most important measure for a Student Learning Outcome. Examples include students’ scores on national standardized exams such as the Core Competencies Assessments, Program Exit, or Certification Exams, Pre-test/Post-test Evaluation, Comprehensive exams, Capstone Course Evaluation, Course-Embedded Assessment, Student Portfolios, Employer evaluations, Use of Rubrics, etc.
Indirect measures - subjective measures of beliefs, attitudes and perceptions. Indirect measures are often used to supplement direct measures. Examples include questionnaires and surveys of student’s perceptions such as the CCSSE, Graduating Student Questionnaire, Graduate Follow-up Survey, Employer surveys, etc. Additional measures could include focus groups, exit interviews of graduates, employment data, graduation rates, and transfer rates.
Qualitative - measures that contain non-numerical data such as verbal or written feedback from students/staff/faculty, etc…
Quantitative - measures that collect numerical data that can be analyzed statistically.
Achievement Target allows you to establish a criterion for success. This will allow your Objective/Outcome to be measurable. You must ask yourself what level is acceptable and then seek to sustain or enhance that performance.
Below are examples of Target Performance Levels and how they relate to Outcome/Objective and Measure:
Graduates from the EMS program will demonstrate the ability to comprehend, apply, and evaluate clinical information relative to his/her role as an entry-level EMT-intermediate or Paramedic
Measure 1 - Exit Exam (comprehensive program examination administered at the end of last semester)
Achievement Target - 90% pass rate (C or better)
Measure 2 - Licensure exam
Achievement Target - 90% of graduates who attempt the licensure exam will pass
Graduates will demonstrate competency in oral communication skills.
Measure 1 - Faculty Developed Rubric
Achievement Target - 85% of oral presentations rated by a panel of reviewers will be scored at or above the “Acceptable” level, using a rubric developed by the department.
Achievement Target - 80% of returned employer surveys positively evaluate the communication skills of graduates
Measure - Scores on the Major Field Test
Achievement Target - Students will score in the 70th percentile or better on the Exit Exam taken in their capstone course
Measure - Alumni Follow-up Survey
Achievement Target - 80% of alum responding to the survey will indicate employment in their field.
Graduates of the Horticulture program will report satisfaction with the overall program.
Measure - Graduating Student Survey
Achievement Target - 85% of program completers will indicate satisfaction
List the results based on the measure (methods & tools) used. This does not need to be overly complicated. The purpose of this section is to determine if your Outcomes/Objectives were met. Be sure to discuss your data in relation to outcomes/objectives and specifically, the Achievement Target set in Measures. (See Appendix A for the location of some assessment results)
If you do not meet your Outcome/Objective and the set Achievement Target (perhaps only 75% of the returned employer surveys positively evaluate the communication skills of graduates and your achievement target was 80%), don’t panic. This feedback provides data for you to decide what you might do differently to improve those skills (Hint: Action Plan). The changes you propose will be a part of your improvement plan for the next year. Remember, the purpose of assessment is to help us determine if we are being effective and to allow us to document continuous improvement in programs and student learning outcomes.
This is where you show how you “closed the loop.” You must answer the following:
- How will you use your results?
- What actions were taken or will be taken based on your data?
If you did not meet your Outcomes/Objectives you MUST have an action plan. If you plan to implement changes based on your findings, you must discuss these, particularly when findings support planning and budgetary decisions. If this is the case with your findings, please include any information in the “additional resources needed” section under Action Plan. Here you will discuss how your findings affect planning and the budget if applicable.
Action Plan Tracking
This module allows you to track Actions over time and to update them as they are completed.
This section allows for reflection of whether findings met achievement targets. In order to fully “close the loop” on the assessment cycle, a program/unit must answer the following questions:
What specifically did your assessments show regarding any outcome/objectives that will require continued attention?
How will you use these findings to make future improvements in your program or unit?
This module is not required but encouraged for further reflection on results and for noting the contribution of a program/unit to the college.
To view/print a full report of all of your assessment data, select the Reports tab on the top menu.
You may not always achieve your goals but, remember, the purpose of assessment is improvement. Your findings may help you to create new outcomes/objectives for the upcoming year. No matter how good we are, we want to be continually striving to be better! Assessment helps us do that in a formal and organized way.