Guiding Principles of Assessment
Honest, insightful and productive assessment thrives only in a culture of trust.
The effective measurement of learning outcomes encourages students, faculty, staff and administration to examine and collaborate ways to improve our teaching and services to students.
These principles articulate effective practices and the philosophy of assessment at the college.
- Assessment is a vehicle for improvement of student learning, not an end in itself. As such, assessment is fueled by thoughtful questions posed by faculty that identify data to be collected and analyzed in order to illuminate opportunities to develop and implement initiatives in curriculum, instruction and support services. For assessment to function formatively, assessment results must be used appropriately to provide direction and guidance for improving curricula and related student experiences.
- Assessment works best when it is ongoing, not episodic, and when it is multi-dimensional, employing multiple methods.Assessment is a process that power is cumulative. Improvement in student learning is a long-range process.
- Assessment works best when it has clear, shared, implementable goals. Assessment activities are goal-oriented and involve comparing student performance with the purposes and expectations of the faculty as expressed in program and course design.
- Academic assessment is a curricular issue, and therefore is the responsibility of the faculty. Faculty-driven assessment is instigated, designed, conducted, analyzed, interpreted and acted upon by the faculty.Regular assessment of student achievement of student learning outcomes is used to develop improvement strategies and demonstrate our accountability for our students’ learning.
- The independence of instructors, departments and divisions in approaches to assessment is crucial to the assessment process.Just as individual faculty value autonomy in assessing course-level objectives, the faculty as a whole value independence in assessing curriculum-wide student learning outcomes at JCCC. For assessment to be meaningful, it should be localized in the departments, measure student success using tools the faculty in a discipline respect and generate information a department can use to improve student learning or update the curriculum.
- Assessment results will not be used for evaluation of individual faculty.
- Assessment data will not be used to make comparative judgments across departments or divisions. Assessment data is intended to be used for the facilitation of student, curricular and college development and is not intended for comparative judgments.
- Successful assessment requires institutional support and resources. Planning and implementing assessment activities depend on the availability of faculty time, resources and support to produce meaningful results over a sustained period of time. Ongoing assessment efforts within departments and divisions require institutional funding for appropriate staffing, faculty time and materials.