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Process & Planning
The University of Delaware is committed to implementing and institutionalizing a University-wide student learning outcomes assessment program. Academic units may use the results to form the basis for policy development and resource allocations. Assurance of Learning and Student Outcomes Assessment is used by the institution in response to its Middle States Accreditation requirement and review. In the case of the Lerner College, the assessment may also be used for its own accreditation review by the AACSB.
The purpose of the assurance of learning approach is to enhance student learning by defining clear, concise and measurable student learning outcomes, identifying opportunities within the curriculum and courses for students to achieve those outcomes, applying measures to assess whether the desired outcomes are being achieved and using the results of assessment to improve instruction and strengthen the curriculum.
The Lerner College Assurance of Learning Task Force was created and was given the charge of (1) coordinating the development of goals for the college and program learning objectives for the individual department’s degree programs, and (2) providing recommendations to the Dean as to how progress toward these goals and objectives should be assessed. After considerable study, meetings and input from college faculty, a report was submitted by the task force in June 2005 to then-dean Michael Ginzberg.
Upon new leadership in the College and the appointment of Bobby Gempesaw as dean in July 2006, the task force began reconvening on a regular basis to determine how to assess the effectiveness of the undergraduate and graduate programs. The committee was restructured and given the task of reviewing the College learning goals and revising college goals where appropriate. In addition, the task force was charged with reviewing and developing program objectives for each of the academic departments. The final charge was to develop appropriate assessment strategies for the College goals and for each of the departments' learning objectives to determine how well students are achieving these objectives. The results of these assessment activities would better provide each chairperson with data that measures how well students demonstrate competency of the objectives that the faculty have set forth and how assessment results might be used to improve the learning process.
The College Faculty Assurance of Learning Task Force identified three college-wide goals that students should meet by the time they graduate. In addition, each department established program learning objectives that were major-specific. Appropriate strategies were developed within each department to measure whether the desired outcomes are being achieved. Through course evaluations, the three college-wide goals are assessed at the end of each semester starting with fall 2007. Starting in spring 2008, the academic program learning objectives for each of the departments were assessed. The College Faculty Assurance of Learning Task Force and each department chair continue to review the results.
This accreditation website provides details and results for the college goals and for department program learning objectives. The appropriate link may be found under “Assessment Goals & Objectives” located on the left-hand side of this page.