Learning Outcomes Assessment (LOA) is a high priority at Greenfield Community College, as we build on our strong commitment to our students’ development and the continuous improvement of our programs and services. Our assessment processes help us respond to inevitable change in ways that are thoughtful, intentional, and in the best service of our students’ needs. This work is fundamental to our college as we all strive for continuous improvement in our students’ learning. Learning outcomes assessment is one of the key components of being truly student-centered.
What is Learning Outcomes Assessment?
Learning Outcomes Assessment is a systematic effort to evaluate whether our students are learning what we intend for them to learn through their academic and co-curricular experiences. It is all about gathering and interpreting information on student learning. LOA provides information that tells GCC how our students’ experiences are making a difference in their lives.
Programs follow a three-year Assessment Cycle so that all of their Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) have been assessed in any given three-year period. PLOs are clearly-articulated statements about the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students will attain as the result of their successful participation in and completion of a particular Associates Degree, Certificate, or co-curricular activity. The three-year assessment cycle starts with developing or reviewing learning outcomes for the program, and mapping those outcomes onto delivery points in the curriculum. Student assignments are used as evidence of learning and rated for accomplishment of the outcomes using some measurement like a rubric or exam questions. The data is analyzed to determine how well, on the whole, students are achieving the outcomes. Where achievement does not hit the desired level, programs close the loop by designing program modifications, and then the cycle begins again.