The term assessment, in its most simple context, means “measurement”. Assessment practices may include measurement of performance goals in a variety of formats and contexts.
In academic programs, assessment is focused on the evaluation of program effectiveness through measurement of student learning. A faculty-centered process, assessment focuses on the following steps:
- Defining what students should learn in an academic program;
- Specifying where in the curriculum those goals are learned;
- Measuring whether students have indeed accomplished those goals;
- Analyzing and using results to improve the program, thus enhancing future student learning.
Best practices in assessment can lead to continuous improvement in academic programs.