Assessment, as defined by the Higher Learning Commission, is the systematic collection, examination, and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data about student learning and the use of that information to document and improve student learning.
Why is Assessment Important?
Educational assessment initiatives must begin with a set of clearly articulated learning objectives which outline the skills and/or knowledge students are expected to develop upon successful completion of a program. At the institutional level, these learning objectives are articulated in the TU Mission Statement. In defining demonstrable, measurable skills that are characteristic of the learning objectives, data can be produced showing the levels at which students can perform each of these skills. With this level of specificity, it is possible to pinpoint the skills students have successfully developed or those in which further development is needed – all of which makes continuous improvement possible.
The University of Tulsa has implemented comprehensive programs for assessment of student learning at the institutional, program (major), and course levels. In addition, program learning goals are prominently and consistently published on each academic unit’s website to ensure that all constituents, especially students, are aware of the skills or concepts they should develop upon successfully completing an academic program.
Since the TU mission statement identifies the skills and knowledge that students are expected to develop throughout their academic careers, it is important that student performance be assessed throughout students’ attendance at TU.