DACC’s Philosophy of Learning Outcomes Assessment
Assessing learning outcomes at DACC means articulating what students need to learn and then making sure they learn it. This requires intentional and systematic assessment of student learning founded on the following actions:
- establish and communicate learning outcomes to students;
- provide opportunities for students to achieve the desired learning;
- use clearly defined processes and thoughtful tools, measure student learning;
- analyze evidence to determine if students have achieved desired learning; and
- use results to inform next steps to improve student learning.
Overview of Institutional Approach to Learning Outcomes Assessment
DACC has established and communicated two overarching goals in its Strategic Plan. They are:
- increase enrollment
- Increase completion
Learning outcomes assessment support the second of these two goals. DACC is committed to improving teaching in order to increase learning. By assessing student learning, the college can better identify connections between student learning and persistence, retention, and ultimately completion of a credential – certificate, associate’s degree, or transfer to a four-year institution. The college also recognizes that smaller successes can also be measured: students may enroll for only a class or two for personal improvement, to acquire a specific skills, or to meet the needs of an employer.
Persons responsible for assessment
Learning outcomes assessment is the job of many individuals who sometimes work collectively while at other times work individually. For example, faculty in a program work collectively to establish assessment plan and conduct assessment projects based on research questions. Individual faculty members conduct assessments at the classroom-level, often on projects designed to help them improve specific aspects of their own teaching. Ultimately, however, reporting assessments falls to individuals in the following ways:
- Individual faculty are responsible for reporting on classroom assessment in their annual evaluations notebooks
- Department chairs/program directors are responsible for reporting on program assessment annually
- The Assessment Committee is responsible for reporting on college-wide assessments
- The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs is responsible for curating all assessment reports to ensure that learning outcomes assessment is being conducted at all levels.
All program/department and general education assessment plans and reports are housed in SharePoint.