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