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Purpose

While the MCCVLC serves as the facilitator for the accreditation of the online delivery of courses and programs, each institution is responsible for their individual assessment processes.  This plan focuses on the issues that colleges should address during the assessment of an online program of study currently being offered. 

 


Development

Development of the plan is the result of numerous discussions among members of the Assessment Task Force.  The sub-committee of that Task Force also reviewed the MCCVLC Guidelines for Online Programs of Study, the MCCVLC Online Course Guidelines and Rubric as well as documents from The North Central Association Higher Learning Commission in the construction of this document.  The plan should be regarded as a dynamic document – with modifications made to allow for diversity of campus cultures.

 

 

Standard

Beginning Implementation of Assessment Program

Making Progress in Implementing Assessment Program

Maturing Stages of Continuous Improvement

1.  As a component of the institution’s overall assessment activities, documented assessment of student achievement is conducted in each course and at the completion of the program, by comparing student performance to the intended learning outcomes.

  • Program-level goals/ competencies/ intended learning outcomes are clearly stated.

Faculty has not yet articulated the program-level goals for student learning.

Published program descriptions do not clearly express the intended program-level learning outcomes.

All program competencies are clearly stated; written at the application level or above; and emphasize application of major knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes using appropriate action verbs to communicate what learners will be able to do as a result of completing the program.

There is a clear link between course-level goals and program-level goals for student learning.

  • Program-level goals/ competencies/ intended learning outcomes are achievable, observable, and measurable.

 

Program-level goals are neither observable nor measurable

The program-level goals are observable but difficult to measure or report because, for example, they conflate more than one intended learning outcome or competency.

All program-level goals are clearly articulated, achievable, observable and measurable.

  • Program-level goals/ competencies/ intended learning outcomes are closely correlated with beyond the classroom or academic program performance expectations.

 

Program-level competencies do not correlate with performance expectations beyond the classroom.  Instead, they relate only to specific in-class performances.

Some, but not all, of the program competencies represent knowledge, skills, or attitudes/values that the learner would use outside the context of the classroom.

All program-level competencies clearly represent knowledge, skills, or attitudes/values that the learner would use outside the context of the classroom or academic program.

  • Assessment methods are appropriate to the stated program- level goals/ competencies/ intended learning outcomes, activities and technologies.

Assessment methods are not appropriate measurements for the publicly stated program-level goals/ competencies/ intended learning outcomes.

Assessment methods are designed to measure the stated program-level goals, but are not well integrated with learning activities.  

Assessment methods are designed to measure the stated program-level goals, are well integrated with learning activities, and make good use of available technologies.

  • Assessment of student achievement in the program is conducted by comparing student performance to the intended program-level learning outcomes.

 

Assessment of student achievement is limited to counting the number of program graduates and reviewing their GPAs.

Assessment of student academic achievement in the program includes such indirect measures of student learning as employer satisfaction surveys.

Program-level assessment includes multiple measures of student learning, including the comparison of student learning/ performance to intended program-level outcomes.   Intended program-level outcomes are assessed using such methods as capstone courses, portfolios, juried reviews, etc.

Where possible, student academic achievement in online programs is compared to student learning in on-campus programs.

  • Direct as well as indirect measures of student learning are employed.

Program heads confuse traditional state-mandated program review with program-level assessment.  Thus, such non-measures of student learning as the number of full-time faculty teaching in the program, the number of students in the program, and departmental budgets are considered “assessment data.”

Program-level assessment includes a few indirect measures of student learning (such as employer satisfaction surveys), but no direct measures.

Program-level assessment includes multiple direct and indirect measures of student learning.  

 

Where possible, student academic achievement in online programs is compared to student learning in on-campus programs.

  • Achievement of intended learning outcomes at the program-level is well documented.

The achievement of intended learning outcomes is merely implied with the awarding of passing grades and degrees.

The achievement of intended learning outcomes is reflected in assessment results.

The achievement of intended learning outcomes is documented and provided to students as part of their feedback on learning activities and assessments; it is also documented in the course website, where it is accessible to the instructor. (May include use of a rubric that demonstrates what achievement will look like and requires both student and instructor input.)   

  • Students know about and contribute to the assessment process.

Students know little or nothing about the assessment program.  They do not understand how it will be carried out, their role in its success, or how it could be useful to them and future cohorts of students.

Students are becoming knowledgeable about the institution’s assessment program.

Throughout their programs, students are provided formal occasions to reflect upon their work and express their thoughts, in verbal and written forms, about the levels of success they think they have experienced in achieving the learning outcomes identified/expected by faculty.

  • Students demonstrate acquisition of general education knowledge and skills.

Assessment of general education skills, competencies, and capacities has not been implemented or has stalled.

Many programs are collecting, interpreting, and using the results obtained from assessing student learning in general education and undergraduate programs.

Success of assessment efforts is verified by the student outcome data.  A “culture of evidence” has emerged, sustained by a faculty and administrative commitment to excellent teaching and effective learning.

2.  When examinations are employed (paper, online, demonstrations of competency, etc.) they take place in circumstances that include firm student identification. 

  • The institution seeks to assure the integrity of student work at the program level.

Policies and procedures for assuring security of evaluation are in place but are not publicly stated.

Policies/procedures are in place for establishing student identity and assuring security of evaluation site, are easily located, and provide clarity to the student regarding their responsibility.

Policies and procedures are in place, are easily located, provide clarity to the reader regarding their responsibility, and reflect the institution’s policies to ensure the integrity of student work.

3.  Documented procedures assure that security of personal information is protected in the conduct of assessments and evaluations and in the dissemination of results.

  • The institution has effective procedures for the security of personal information during the appropriate dissemination of evaluation results.

Procedures for assuring the security of personal information are in place but are vague and / or not easily located.

Documented procedures for assuring the security of personal information are in place, are easily located, and provide clarity to the student regarding their responsibility.

Documented procedures for assuring the security of personal information are in place, are easily located, provide clarity to the student regarding their responsibility and reflect the institution’s policies to ensure the security of personal information while providing appropriate dissemination of evaluation results.

4.      In addition to overall student academic achievement, overall program effectiveness is determined by such measures as:

  • The program is consistent with mission of institution.

 

 

Program goals imply alignment with role and mission of the institution and/or may represent a change in the institution’s stated mission.

Program is consistent with the role and mission of the institution.

Program is consistent with the role and mission of the institution including the goals with respect to student access especially to those students not previously served.   The institution is fulfilling its stated role.

  • The institution’s budgets and policy statements reflect its commitment to the students of the program

Institution’s budget policy addresses the funding of the program.

The distance learning programs are included in the institution’s overall budget structure. 

The distance learning programs are included in the institution’s overall budget structure and institution has policy for sustaining program long enough for cohort to complete.

  • Institutional level data is used, in combination with program level data, as a measure of student success.

 

Confusion exists regarding the different purposes and relationship among: placement testing, faculty evaluation, program review, institutional effectiveness, and the assessment of student learning.

Assessment data are being collected and reported but not being used to improve student learning.   

The institution publicly and regularly celebrates demonstrated student learning, performance, and achievement.

 

  • Faculty satisfaction, as measured by regular surveys and by formal and informal peer review processes. 

 

Faculty and staff have informal opportunities to provide feedback regarding faculty support and training initiatives.

 

Faculty and staff participate in regular assessment of program support through surveys.

Faculty and staff participate in regular assessment of program support through surveys as well as formal and informal processes that may include peer review, committees, etc.

  • Student satisfaction is measured by regular surveys

Students participate in informal opportunities to provide feedback regarding the program.

Students participate in regular assessment of program through satisfaction surveys and results are reviewed by faculty.

Results of student satisfaction surveys are included in the entire program level assessment process.

  • Incoming students are provided with institutional expectation of student learning.

 

 

 

Prospective and incoming students are provided few or no explicit public statements regarding the institution’s expectations for student learning and the student’s role and responsibility in that effort

Students are becoming knowledgeable about the institution’s assessment program.  The institution effectively communicates with students about the purpose of assessment at the institution and their role in the assessment program.

Student leaders educate their peers about the assessment program through conversations, public presentations, and/or articles in student newspaper.

  • Incoming students are informed of program requirements, including admission requirements, technology requirements, costs and financial aid options, time management, available support services, advising, technical help desk support, etc.

Prospective and incoming students are provided with few or no explicit public statements regarding the requirements for the program.

The institution provides information regarding requirements for the program prior to admission.

 

Students participate in an orientation to the program that is accessible at any time prior to admission or during their courses and have opportunities to assess the accuracy of the orientation at various times during the program.

  • Library and Learning resources for virtual learning students are of equal access, quality, and affordability compared to on-campus students.

 

There is not an institution-wide understanding of the strategies to be used in providing library and learning resources for virtual learning students.

The institution has not yet extended its assessment program to include all of its academic support services.

Assessment of academic support services is an integral component of the total program assessment and includes data regarding student satisfaction with academic support services.

  • The institutional technical, physical plant, staff and support infrastructure are sufficient to address program needs.

 

There is not an institution-wide understanding of the strategies to be used in providing technical, physical plant, staff and support infrastructure sufficient to address program needs.

The institution has not yet extended its assessment program to include all of its support services.

Assessment of support services is an integral component of the total program assessment and includes data regarding faculty and staff satisfaction with the support services

5.  The institution conducts a program of continual self-evaluation which is used to direct the further plans of the institution and those responsible for its academic programs.

  • The assessment program includes these essential categories:
    • Improved learning outcomes;
    • Retention data;
    • Resource utilization;
    • Service to internal and external constituencies.< ul>

Assessment program includes assessment of improved learning however there is incomplete data.

Assessment program begins to use data but there is inadequate analysis of data.

Assessment data is used to make program improvements.

  • Academically qualified personnel are directly involved in the development and implementation of the assessment program.
Evidence of broad representation of academically qualified personnel is not documented. There is evidence of academically qualified personnel, however, broad representation is not evident. There is evidence of broad representation of academically qualified personnel.
  • Measures are in place to insure that academically qualified faculty are delivering program.

Faculty hiring requirements include discussion of online teaching activities.

There are processes in place for analyzing and updating potential faculty qualifications for online teaching.

Institution requires experience in online teaching for all faculty, and provides opportunities for faculty skill development.

  • There are documented procedures or mechanisms for review and revision of existing programs and courses.

No evidence that procedures exist.

There is evidence of procedures for review and revision of existing programs and courses.

There is evidence of procedures for review and improvement of existing programs and courses.

  • Results of program evaluation are used in institutional planning.

Data is collected; results are not analyzed.

Data is collected and analyzed; results are used only at the program level.

Data is collected and analyzed; results are used in the institution planning process.

  • Internal and external constituencies are actively involved in the planning improvement process.

Internal and/or external constituencies have been identified; involvement is limited or minimal.

Internal and external constituencies have been identified; involvement is sporadic.

Internal and external constituencies have been identified; involvement is active and ongoing.

  • The results of program-level assessment are used to improve student learning.

Assessment results are not used to improve teaching and learning.

Some, but not all, instructors are using program-level assessment to improve teaching and learning in the program.

All faculty teaching in the program regularly evaluate and discuss program-level assessment data in order to make ongoing programmatic improvements.

Part-time as well as full-time faculty participates in the assessment process.

© 2014 Michigan Community College Association Virtual Learning Collaborative
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