Outcomes and Assessment

Here you will find information and documents to promote an ongoing dialogue of student learning. On the "Assessment" page, links are provided to the Program Assessment Reporting Forms that are to be used by instructional and non-instructional programs, the Course Assessment Reporting Form to be used by faculty reporting their course SLO assessments, and a link to the WASC Assessment Library that includes more possibilities in assessment. Also note the "Glossary of Terms" page, which includes a list of assessment vocabulary useful as we broaden our understanding of assessment.

Each program will be able to showcase the assessments they are working on while being able to view what other programs are doing on campus to further continue our professional and pedagogical dialogue of evalutation, creativity, and student learning.

Follow this link to access all instructional and non instructional assessment results and action plans. When there click on Programs:

SLO Blackboard Page

Why Assessment?
We assess every day as we read student papers, examine test scores, revise lesson plans, guide students through services, and talk to colleagues about best practices. To assess is to identify what you want your students to learn (Student Learning Outcomes) and to measure to what degree they have learned it. Faculty will assess their course outcomes, using the information to make decisions in their courses to foster the best learning situations. Program members will engage in useful dialogue based on their information to improve student learning and services. Any curricular or program changes and/or and budgetary requests will be discussed through the Program Review process which includes the analysis of student learning outcomes results and action plans. The College will share this information with the community and accrediting agencies.

Will this involve a lot of paperwork?
No. Faculty and program leads will complete their assessments according to their self-decided 5-year timeline as established in their Program Review report. All assessment reporting will be documented within the Program Review report, documenting assessment techniques, evaluations, and conclusions. A summary of these reports will be compiled by the Student Learning Outcome Coordinator and presented to the College every semester.

Does this mean I will have to administer a standardized test?
Not unless your program wants to design one. Assessment is faculty and staff driven. It is a collective decision as to what assessment methodologies will be used just as it is a collaborative dialogue to evaluate the assessment and decide on any changes (if needed) within the course or program.


Selected Assessment Terms and Definitions

Accountability: Reporting to the public on educational process to show trends within and relationships among school data (e.g., institutions are held accountable for the use of public funds, institutions must demonstrate that they are efficient and effective in serving the needs of the state). Summative data is used for making decisions about resources, people, and institutions. AAHE Assessment: Frequently Asked Questions,  http://www.aahe.org/assessment/assess_faq.htm#define


Analytical Scoring: Evaluating student work across multiple dimensions of performance rather than from an overall impression (holistic scoring). In analytic scoring, individual scores for each dimension are scored and reported. Glossary of Useful Terms, SABES Home Page


Assessment: Assessment is the systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development. T. Marchese, 1987


Assessment Steps:

    • Develop learning objectives.
    • Check for alignment between the curriculum and the objectives.
    • Develop an assessment plan (must use direct measures).
    • Collect assessment data.
    • Use results to improve the program.
    • Routinely examine the assessment process and correct, as needed
      Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Mary J. Allen


Benchmark: A detailed description of a specific level of student performance expected of students. A defined measurement or standard serves as a point of reference by which process performance is measured.

Closing the Loop: Assessment results are acted upon.  Assessment data are turned back into program improvement.  This is part of the assessment process. http://www.und.nodak.edu/dept/datacol/assessment/glossary

Curriculum Alignment: Curriculum and learning objectives are aligned or matched to ensure that students are provided appropriate learning opportunities in order to achieve the identified learning objectives or outcomes. Definition from Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Mary J. Allen


Direct Assessment: Assessments that involve examination of student work or performance, such as embedded test questions, written papers, oral presentations, student projects, competence interviews, performances, or portfolios. Assessment results will be even more convincing if different assessment strategies triangulate to support the same conclusion. Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Mary J. Allen

Efficacy of Assessment: Assessment results are being used to make effective programmatic improvements. The department/program is maturing through continual improvement based on evidence. Faculty care about teaching and know their role in assessment. http://www.und.nodak.edu/dept/datacol/assessment/glossary

Embedded Assessment: A means of gathering information about student learning that is built into and a natural part of the teaching learning process. Often used for assessment purposes in classroom assignments that are evaluated to assign students a grade. Can assess individual student performance or aggregate the information to provide information about the course or program; can be formative or summative, quantitative or qualitative. Example: as part of a course, expecting each senior to complete a research paper that is graded for content and style, but is also assessed for advanced ability to locate and evaluate Web-based information (as part of a college-wide outcome to demonstrate information literacy). Assessment Terms Glossary, Northern Illinois University, http://www.niu.edu/assessment/_resourc/gloss.shtml.


Holistic Scoring: Evaluating student work in which the score is based on an overall impression of student performance rather than multiple dimensions of performance (analytic scoring). Glossary of Useful Terms, SABES Home Page


Indirect Assessment: Assessments that supplement and enrich what faculty learn from direct assessment studies, such as alumni surveys, employer surveys, satisfaction surveys and interviews. Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Mary J. Allen


Performance Criteria: The standards by which student performance is evaluated. Performance criteria help assessors maintain objectivity and provide students with important information about expectations.


Portfolios: Collections of multiple student work samples usually compiled over time and rated using rubrics. The design of a portfolio is dependent upon how the scoring results are going to be used. Assessment Terms Glossary, Northern Illinois University, http://www.niu.edu/assessment/_resourc/gloss.shtml.


Program Assessment: an ongoing process designed to monitor and improve student learning. Faculty develop explicit statements of what students should learn, verify that the program is designed to foster this learning, collect empirical data that indicate student attainment, and use these data to improve student learning. Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Mary J. Allen

Rubric: A set of scoring criteria used to determine the value of a student's performance on assigned tasks. The criteria are written so students are able to learn what must be done to improve their performance in the future. Music Assessment Glossary by Edward P. Asmus, Ph.D., http://www.music.miami.edu/assessment/glossary.html

Scaffolding: An instructional technique whereby the teacher models the desired learning strategy or task, then gradually shifts responsibility to the students. Scaffolding by North West Regional Lab, http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/students/learning/lr1scaf.htm

Self-Assessment: Analyzing and making decisions about one's own performance or abilities. Music Assessment Glossary by Edward P. Asmus, Ph.D., http://www.music.miami.edu/assessment/glossary.html


Student Learning Outcomes (AKA student learning objectives): Statements of what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time they complete the major or degree. They may be stated in terms of expected knowledge, skills or attitudes. These outcomes must be consistent with the mission of the department, college, and university. Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Mary J. Allen


Triangulation: Multiple lines of evidence pointing to the same conclusion. It refers to the collection and comparison of data or information from three difference sources or perspectives. Glossary of Useful Terms, SABES Home Page


Value Added: The increase in learning that occurs during a course, program, or undergraduate education. Requires a baseline measurement for comparison.

Assessment reporting tools and other assessment-related resources.

All Instructional, Student Services, and Administrative Services Offices’ 5-Year SLO Assessment Timelines may be found on the RC Program Review Blackboard page. These timelines cover 2013-2018. Please keep track of your assessment timeline as all courses, programs, degrees, and certificates will need to be assessed prior to your next program review report. Beginning 2013, all assessments will be reported within program review reports.



Students graduating with an associate degree from Reedley College will be able to meet the following student learning outcomes:

Communication Skills

  • Interpret various types of written, visual, and verbal information.
  • Organize ideas and communicate precisely and clearly to express complex thoughts both orally and in writing.

Critical Thinking and Information Literacy

  • Analyze quantitative information and apply scientific methodologies.
  • Employ critical and creative modes of inquiry to solve problems, explore alternatives, and make decisions.
  • Synthesize researched information obtained from accurate, credible, and relevant sources to support, advance, or rebut an opinion.

Global and Community Literacy

  • Analyze the fine arts, humanities, and social sciences from cultural, historic, and aesthetic perspectives.
  • Apply historical and contemporary issues and events to civic and social responsibility.
  • Demonstrate sensitive and respectful treatment of a variety of ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Personal Development

  • Assess current knowledge, skills, and abilities to further develop them and apply them to new situations.
  • Incorporate physical and emotional principles to make healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Make ethical personal and professional choices.

Approved by College Council May 13, 2009