chandler-gilbert community college
Assessment Project FAQs
People commonly use the terms "assessment" and "evaluation" interchangeably, but in fact they generally refer to different processes. We use the term assessment to refer to the assessment of student learning through the use of student learning outcomes.
CGCC is using assessment, and not grading, in its General Education Student Learning Outcomes initiative. This is an important distinction. So what’s the difference?
Assessment is narrowly focused on measuring the condition of something. It uses objective data to guide continuous decision-making. Grading, on the other hand, is the process of measuring the value of something. It uses all types of data to judge performance. It is typically higher stakes and has a dramatic impact on whatever or whomever is being evaluated.
For example, assessment can utilize a rubric you’ve created to determine if students are meeting the Student Learning Outcomes designed for your course. Whereas, grading is assigning a value to the work students produce in a course. In the first example, you are using the data you’ve collected to inform whether students are meeting the outcomes for the class. Based on this data, you can adjust your course: include supplemental information, modify instruction, or create more practice activities. The data are important part in informing you where to spend your limited time. In the second example, you judge a student’s performance and assign them a grade.
Yes, in the case of an exam item (or specific element of another kind of assignment) addressing a single learning outcome, grades can serve as a clear proxy of demonstration of learning in such a case.
The previous assessment cycle concluded Spring 2020. All academic divisions have filed GenEd SLO assessment plans through Spring 2021. These plans are available on the respective Division Assessment Resource sites.
The current five-year assessment cycle marks the transition to Assessment Projects. Planning began Fall 2019 with AY20-21 plans. Plans and reports for each year are due the FOURTH THURSDAY of OCTOBER each Fall.
Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Projects will adhere to the following guidelines:
- All disciplines will assess General Education Student Learning Outcomes (SLO).
- All disciplines will designate in planning documents in which courses and terms they will assess SLOs.
- Effective Fall 2020, assessment must include at least one course competency for each course assessed.
- All SLOs and course competencies will, at a minimum, be assessed through direct measures using the Canvas Outcomes feature. Any assignment can potentially be used to assess student achievement of outcomes.
- SLOs and course competencies will be assessed in every section of a course.
- SLOs and Course competencies assessed will not be dependent upon the mode of delivery for the course (e.g. face-to-face, online, hybrid, dual enrollment).
- SLOs and course competencies will be assessed through an appropriate assessment method.
- Faculty will review and discuss assessment openly and make appropriate curricular or other changes as a result of those discussions. See assessment cycle graphic.
- Each discipline will submit a report documenting the SLOs and course competencies assessed, the results of the assessment work conducted, and any planned instructional, curricular, or other changes.
- Reports will be made on an annual (academic year) basis and are due by the FOURTH THURSDAY of OCTOBER each year.
All faculty (residential, OYO, OSO, adjunct, and dual enrollment) are all required to complete assessment of SLOs and course competencies at the college. If a course is scheduled for assessment, all sections regardless of modality (e.g. face-to-face, online, hybrid, dual enrollment) should assess students. The call for data will occur on an annual cycle that allows for assessment of outcomes, analysis of data, decisions for improvement, and next-cycle assessments to determine the effectiveness of our plans.
Assessment schedules are determined by groups of critical faculty within each discipline and updated regularly in annual reports. Over the course of five years, each academic discipline should assess General Education Student Learning Outcomes in ALL of their courses.
Each year, academic disciplines must assess at least one of the CGCC General Education Student Learning Outcomes. Effective Fall 2020, this assessment must include at least one course competency for each course assessed. Strategies for data collection, assignments, and other critical structures at the course and program level are made by the discipline faculty as part of their assessment project plans.
These documents summarize assessment activities completed during the prior academic year and describe the assessment plan for the next academic year. The Assessment Project Plan includes:
- Identification of the academic discipline
- Discipline Assessment Team membership
- Course(s) in the project
- General Education Outcome and Indicators
- Course competencies
The Assessment Project Report includes:
- Discussion of data collection and methodology
- Analysis and interpretation of results
- Recommendations for improvement to instruction
- Action plan for implementation of recommendations
Both the assessment planning and reporting documents are submitted annually to SLOAC by a representative of each academic discipline on or before the fourth Thursday of October each year.
An assessment project is a five-semester process as part of a larger five-year cycle for each discipline.
CGCC uses a common set of SLOs and indicators. SLOs are not subject to revision at this time, although in the near future revisions are a part of the cycle of assessment.
As assessment demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement and student success, we will always be involved in an assessment process. However, cycles will take on different forms depending on course offerings, program review, and other institutional decisions that affect assessment planning and decision making.
The Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee consists of representatives from each academic division. The representatives are your first point of contact for assessment-related questions. SLOAC has also initiated a fellowship program. SLOAC fellows are equipped to address many assessment questions.
The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment is happy to facilitate discussions with faculty and staff regarding the use of the Canvas Outcomes features and best practices in assessment.
The CTLA has also assembled an extensive collection of resources to assist with the assessment process. Please see Support Services for more information.
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