Three Levels of Assessment

This section will look at the assessment flow cycle presented in "Basic Concept of Outcomes Assessment." It would be helpful to read this book. The three levels of assessment cycles are:

    • Level 1: Program Educational Objectives (PEO) Assessment
    • Level 2: Student Outcomes (SO) Assessment
    • Level 3: Course Outcomes (CO) Assessment


  Level 1: PEO Assessment 

The following figure depicts the Level 1: PEO Assessment cycle from the perspective of an operational process. The constituents of your program are the various bodies who define or refine your PEO. The faculty members plan the assessment details and performance criteria. After the relevant objective evidence for PEO are collected, a committee (could be formed by faculty and/or external members such as industrial members) analyzes evidence and generates action items for closure. The toolsets relevant at this level are alumni survey, executive summary, employer survey, program advisor council review minutes.

 peo Cycle

PEO assesment cycle

 EvalTools® Toolsets:
 Alumni Survey, Program Advisory Council (PAC) Review, Executive Summary, Employer Survey

  Level 2: Student Outcomes (SO) Assessment

A similar operational flow process for level 2 assessment is given below. The faculty members of the department/program should be the body who define/refine the student outcomes that gauge the movement of graduates towards the PEOs. With student outcomes defined, the faculty again is the main body who defines performance criteria and implements the educational practices to collect relevant objective evidence on student learning. Depending on the assessment strategies, committee(s) shall analyze the evidence and generate action items accordingly for closure. If there were action items from the last review cycle, decisions have to be made to improve curriculum or to refine the existing student outcomes. The toolsets relevant for Level 2 are the
senior-exit survey, the curriculum outcomes matrix, the student outcomes assessment matrix, and the student outcomes action items matrix.


SO cycle

Student Outcomes (SO) assessment cycle

EvalTools® Toolsets:
Senior-exit Survey, Curriculum Outcomes Matrix, Student Outcomes Assessment Matrix, Student Outcomes Action Items Matrix

  Level 3: Course Outcomes (CO) Assessment

Level 3 assessment is the core assessment of the courses that your program offers. It deals directly with the student learning experience as well as the teaching. Students who graduate from your program may not know student outcomes at level 2 or even the PEOs from level 1, but the experiences they have in class will last them a lifetime. So assessment at this level is critical to the long lasting success of your program. The assessment cycle for level 3 is shown below.


CO cycle

Course Outcomes (CO) assessment cycle

EvalTools Toolsets:
Course-exit Survey, Course Portfolio, Faculty Course Assessment Report (FCAR), Course-based Action Items Matrix

For each course, the responsible faculty defines/refines course outcomes that students should master by the end of the semester. At this level, EvalTools® provides well-defined performance criteria that gauge teaching effectiveness in meeting course outcomes. Once evidence on student learning is collected, the responsible faculty will analyze for any action items. The suggested action items will then be reviewed for appropriateness and will be implemented the next time the course is offered. This is the most time-consuming level of assessment, not only because of the amount of data needing collection, but also in the time spent on compilation and the analysis of data. EvalTools®, however, automates this tedious process by providing the relevant toolsets such as the course portfolio, the FCAR, and the course-based action items matrix.

In reality, the actual flow of data in the assessment process starts at Level 3, flows to Level 2, and then to Level 1. Level 3 assessment activities should take place every term. The data collected from Level 3 are then used for Level 2 assessment on a yearly basis. The time required to complete all the student outcomes assessment may span a 3-year period. After Level 2 assessment is complete, the Level 1 assessment will then take place.

Outcomes assessment is a tedious and time-consuming process unless done with the proper toolsets. EvalTools® is specifically designed to streamline this three-level assessment to save time and let you focus more on teaching!