Three Levels of 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.

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.

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.

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
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