Assessment at UA
Who We Are
Assessment at UA, which is housed under the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA), conducts systematic reviews of academic coursework and programs in order to effect continuous improvement of student learning.
Our guiding principles:
- Assessment leads to program changes that strengthen student learning.
- Assessment addresses programs, not individual courses.
- Assessment identifies strengths and opportunities for improvement in student learning.
- Assessment focuses on learning issues that faculty identify as important to the program.
- Assessment evolves and adapts to address program/student learning needs.
Assessment begins with strong, specific Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs): an articulation of what we want our students to know, do, and value when they graduate from a program. We ensure that they are achieving these outcomes by regularly measuring what and how well they are learning.
What We Do
Assessment occurs across both academic and co-curricular programs at The University of Akron. Every academic program (undergraduate, graduate, certificate and general education) participates in an annual assessment, which culminates in an assessment report due in the fall semester. Co-curricular units submit their assessment reports at the end of the fiscal year. Assessments, then, can be divided into two broad categories:
Academic Program Assessment
Academic Program Assessment looks at the quality of the program as a whole, not individual courses, instructors or students. Program assessment seeks to understand how well students are meeting the expectations set for them as they progress through their programs.
Academic program assessment begins with clear, measurable, and appropriately rigorous learning outcomes reflective of the discipline and program goals. These outcomes are developed by faculty teaching in the program and identify what students will know, value, and be able to do upon successful completion of the program.
By analyzing data drawn from assessment of student work (assignments, exams, projects), faculty identify strengths and weaknesses of student learning within the program. They are then able to use that data to make strategic improvements within courses, activities, and assignments related to each LO.
Co-Curricular Assessment examines the quality of learning opportunities that occur outside the classroom but contribute significantly to development of UA’s university-wide student learning outcomes: Career-readiness; Teamwork and Leadership; Global and Cultural Awareness; Community and Civic Engagement; and Life Skills, Health, and Wellness.
Co-curricular offerings at UA include the Co-operative Education Program, Study Abroad, Rethinking Race, Summer Bridge Programs, and E-Sports, to name just a few.
By analyzing data drawn from surveys, employee interviews, student reflections, self-evaluations, etc., co-curricular assessors determine what their programs are doing well in terms of supporting student learning at UA – and identify further opportunities – and actions – for continuous improvement.
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Request a Consult
To request an assessment consult for your department or program, please contact the Assessment Director
Assessment Peer Review
Learn more about becoming a peer reviewer of program assessment at UA