Outcomes Assessment

Creating Assessment Measures - Advice for faculty

Core Learning Outcomes List

If you are responsible for the program review or are part of a group charged with that task, there are a few basic guidelines that should help in identifying good assessment measures linked to the College’s six student learning outcomes.

  • Don’t attempt to create assessment measures for each of the six learning outcomes.

Choosing two learning outcomes is sufficient.

  • Think narrowly about the learning or skill gain that you intend to assess.

For example, there are many facets of critical thinking. Choose one component to measure rather than this entire complex ability.

  • Use a specific assessment tool to measure the student learning you want to assess.

A general test is probably inappropriate for assessing computer proficiency. However, selected questions from that test that focus on this learning ability would be appropriate.

  • Remember that you may already have an appropriate assessment measure in place.

We’ve found this to be the case on a few occasions. You would simply need to keep records of that assessment tool separately to then make an evaluation about student learning.

  • If you’re really struggling in identifying assessment measures, work backwards from changes that you have made in your courses.

How did you arrive at the decision to make these changes? What assessment data gave you the information to come to that conclusion? Is that related to a student learning outcome?

Need more help?

Feel free to contact any of these people for assistance:

Alec Campbell
Director of Institutional Research
GWH 316
425-388-9392

Gary Newlin
English Department Faculty
GWH 347
425-388-9145

You may also find helpful information in these resources:

Nine principles of good practice for assessing student learning Acrobat PDF Reader Icon
Active Learning Acrobat PDF Reader Icon

Critical Thinking 

Critical thinking can be defined as the deliberate process of questioning,evaluating, and responding to problems, scenarios, and arguments in order to reachsound solutions, decisions, and positions. Based on this working definition, students demonstrate critical thinking when they:

  • Ask pertinent questions that clarify and focus a problem, scenario, or argument;
  • Evaluate the quantity, quality, and usefulness of information;
  • Articulate a sound solution, decision, or position based on appropriate standards of reasoning; and
  • Monitor and reflect upon the quality and fairness of their reasoning.

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities’ Standards of Educational Assessment Acrobat PDF Reader Icon