In higher education, assessment of student learning is a way to gauge how well students have acquired the knowledge and skills essential to their degree.
As opposed to GPAs or course grades (which are broad indicators of student performance across many tasks/areas), assessment focuses on direct measurement of specific learning goals such as entrepreneurial thinking. By collecting and reviewing student work samples, faculty can identify areas for improvement. The assessment process, which the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) calls “Assurance of Learning” or AoL, is about quality assurance and accountability to stakeholders.
The responsibility for Babson’s continuous AoL system is shared across all levels of the institution. As part of the process, faculty regularly assess student achievement of program-wide learning goals for each degree program. The assessment results are collected and reported to campus leaders—such as academic policy committees, division chairs, and deans—for review, feedback, and recommendations for follow-up action. Recommendations may include anything from modification of assessment processes/components (including learning goals and rubrics) to pedagogical and curricular improvements. The AoL process is shown in the chart Babson Assurance of Learning Process (pdf), which indicates typical roles for Babson contributors.
General Assessment Resources
Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE)
Making the Best of Assessment, by Adam Kotsko on insidehighered.com, April 23, 2013
Assessment Commons Internet Resources for Higher Education Outcomes Assessment
New England Educational Assessment Network (NEEAN)
National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA)
Cornell University Center for Teaching Excellence Using Rubrics
Association of American Colleges & Universities VALUE initiative
Lindsay N. Turner, PhD
Manager, Learning Outcomes Assessment
231 Forest St., Horn 330
Babson Park, MA 02457