Assessment of student learning in Ball State University's academic programs is an essential means of identifying areas for growth and improvement in those programs. Therefore Ball State colleges, departments, and schools engage in annual programmatic assessment. 

Annual Program Assessment Reports

Annual program assessments are submitted by each academic department/school. While ongoing assessment is expected in all programs, departments/schools determine which of their program(s) to include in the annual assessment report each year. Some units include all of their programs in their annual assessment reports, while other units rotate the programs they include in their annual assessment reports. All programs must be included in the unit's annual program assessment report at least once every five years.

Program Learning Outcomes

Observable, measurable program learning outcomes explain what each program intends to achieve. Program assessment involves a series of activities designed to determine how well students achieve the stated program learning outcomes. Results lead to continuous improvements in student learning in the unit’s programs.

Curriculum Mapping

Curriculum mapping depicts where the outcomes are assessed among required courses. The process of curriculum mapping involves the creation of a matrix, with program learning outcomes along one axis and required courses along the other axis. Faculty use the matrix to discuss and align the program learning outcomes and required courses. See the Curriculum Map Video Tutorial below for more information.

Direct and Indirect Measures of Student Learning

Systematic collection and review of both direct and indirect measures is an ongoing process in each program. While each department/school determines how its assessment will be conducted, program assessment must include at least one direct measure of student learning.

  • Direct measures of learning explicitly demonstrate how well students have acquired the program learning outcomes. Examples include comprehensive exams, standardized tests, licensing exams, evaluation of student portfolios and performances, and evaluation of student performance by practicum, internship, studio or clinical supervisors.
  • Indirect measures of learning provide proxy information about student learning. Examples include student ratings of program quality, student surveys about instruction, student self-assessment, exit interviews, alumni surveys, and employer surveys.

The following resources are meant to aid in documenting the systematic approach to program review:

Reports are due Oct. 15 each year (unless your college has an approved alternate submission date). Reports should be uploaded using the Assessment Report Submission in Qualtrics.

Program assessment is rooted in a philosophy of continual improvement of our learning environments.

Assessment Cycle

Graphic: Assurance of Learning Cycle 

For more information about the annual program assessment process, consult the Faculty and Professional Personnel Handbook.

Assessment Events and Resources

Ball State University's Assurance of Learning Day focuses on processes and data used to improve student learning and experiences at Ball State.

  • 2022 Assurance of Learning Day videos

    2022 Excellence in Assessment Recognition:

    Distinction in Assessment: Dr. Jerrell Cassady
    Innovation in Assessment: MGT 491 Faculty - Dr. Xian Cao, Dr. Imran Syed, & Dr. Donald "Breck" Terheide
    Equity in Assessment: Department of Social Work, College of Health
    Collaboration in Assessment: Division of Online and Strategic Learning

Ball State University's Assessment Toolkit offers tutorials, templates, rubrics, and literature to support assessment activities that improve student learning and experiences and Ball State.

The toolkit is available to faculty and staff.

Annual Excellence in Assessment Recognition

The University Assessment Committee (UAC) recognizes individuals, programs, or units for extraordinary contributions to Ball State’s culture of assessment through ongoing efforts in the classroom, on committees, and/or in projects that have broad benefits and lead to improvement. Programs, units, and individuals are eligible to be nominated for one of the four categories.

Distinction in Assessment
recognizes the individual, program, or unit that has made significant contributions to promote a culture of assessment at Ball State. The individual, program, or unit has achieved meritorious distinction by modeling sustained, effective use of assessment processes to make substantial and positive changes.

Innovation in Assessment recognizes the individual, program, or unit that has gone above and beyond expected assessment practices and initiated an innovative assessment method that resulted in improvement of an academic or co-curricular program at Ball State.

Equity in Assessment recognizes the individual, program, or unit for creating a more culturally responsive learning environment at Ball State. The award recipient disaggregates their data to examine whether any groups of students need to be better supported and/or empowers students as partners in the assessment process.

Collaboration in Assessment
recognizes the individual, program, or unit for exemplary assessment methods in partnership with other stakeholder groups such as BSU students, staff, alumni, community partners, and employers to implement positive changes.

The Excellence in Assessment recipients are recognized during Ball State’s annual Assurance of Learning Day.

2022 Excellence in Assessment Recognition:
Distinction in Assessment:
Dr. Jerrell Cassady
Innovation in Assessment: MGT 491 Faculty - Dr. Xian Cao, Dr. Imran Syed, & Dr. Donald "Breck" Terheide
Equity in Assessment: Department of Social Work, College of Health
Collaboration in Assessment: Division of Online and Strategic Learning

Questions?

If you would like to speak with someone about Ball State's assessment processes or accreditation, please contact Carole Kacius, Director of Assessment and Accreditation.