The assessment of educational effectiveness is intended to provide reliable evidence of student success and achievement. Processes focus on gathering learner performance data in order to enhance understanding of what CalSouthern graduates know, understand, and can do as a result of their educational experience. Results are utilized for curricular design aimed at improving achievement.
The assessment of educational effectiveness is designed to ensure that all assessment activities stem directly from the ILOs. This is demonstrated through the articulation of PLOs for all degree programs. The assessment of PLOs includes Faculty Mentor participation in evaluating learning outcomes. This evaluation is completed using assessment of signature assignments throughout the curriculum. The university uses LiveText software for capturing, evaluating, and tracking Learner work products for direct assessment of PLOs. Curriculum maps specify signature assignments tied to specific PLOs. Learners upload signature assignments into the LiveText system and Faculty Mentors use specific assessment rubrics (distinct from grading rubrics) to evaluate outcome achievement. Baseline data are collected early in a Learner’s program to establish a benchmark against which to measure the effectiveness of the program in achievement of learning outcomes.
Deans of each school are responsible for maintaining program assessment plans that identify the program learning outcomes they will assess each year. This focused assessment allows deans and faculty to narrow in on specific learning outcomes each year. These plans are to include:
- How each outcome will be assessed
- What direct and indirect assessment evidence will be collected
- When and how often each outcome will be assessed
- How the evidence will be collected
- How he evidence will be assessed
- Who will reflect on the results and decide if and how to close the loop
- How the results and closing the loop actions will be documented
All new programs are required to undergo annual assessment leading up to the first scheduled academic program review. These annual reviews must include assessment of student enrollment, retention, staffing, grade distribution, learner satisfaction, faculty feedback, external reviewer feedback and assessment of PLOs using assessment rubrics and embedded signature assignments. Summary assessment reports (SARS) including analysis of this data and recommendations are completed each year and included in the Academic Department Annual Plan and budget.