Annual assessment reporting
Introduction to Annual Assessment Reporting
The purpose of the annual assessment reporting
process is to ensure that meaningful assessment occurs on an annual basis at
NAU and our culture of assessment continues to expand and evolve. We have worked to create as flexible a
process as possible, understanding that programs demonstrate a wide range of
experience in academic assessment. In
addition, we desire to reduce duplications of assessment reporting efforts to
ensure time and energy can be devoted to a quality assessment process, particularly for programs engaging in external accreditation efforts. Our goal is that program faculty will be
successful with this process.
If at any
point you have questions about completing or submitting an annual assessment report, or NAU's Annual Assessment Reporting template, or become stuck or
uncertain about how to move forward in your assessment process, please contact us immediately.
information about the Assessment process, including the purpose of NAU’s
Assessment Process, who participates in assessment, the relationship of
assessment to Academic Program Review and External Accreditation Processes, as
well as answers to other questions, please click here.
Instructions for Annual Assessment Reporting
For Degree Programs Using the Academic Program Review ProcessClick here to explore instructions for Degree Programs Using the Academic Program Review Process
Select the phase or phases
appropriate for your degree program at this time, taking into consideration
your current academic goals and strategic plans. Then, complete the Annual
Assessment Report Template for those phases, using the UAC Feedback Rubric
and the website as guides.
If you are unable to complete an entire phase in a single academic year, please
complete the portions that you are able to complete and submit those portions,
that we may provide feedback and assist you in your assessment endeavors.
For Degree Programs Having External Accreditation ProcessesClick here to explore instructions for Degree Programs having External Accreditation processes
If you already have an annual reporting
process that was developed by an external accreditation organization, please
submit the report you would submit to your external organization in lieu of
completing this template. If you have an
annual reporting process for external accreditors, but no pre-determined
reporting format, the template provided may be useful in reporting to both the
UAC and external accrediting agency.
Please contact your external accrediting agency to ensure the reporting
process fulfills your external accreditation annual reporting
requirements. If you have any questions
or concerns about how to align your annual external organization reporting with
NAU’s process, please contact us immediately.
Regardless of the reporting format sent to the UAC, UAC members will
provide feedback about your assessment using the UAC Feedback Rubric
Submission of your Annual Assessment ReportClick here to learn what happens with your annual assessment report
submission of your annual assessment report to the University Assessment
Committee (UAC), UAC members will review it and provide feedback using the
Annual Assessment Report Feedback Rubric, regardless of whether or not you used
the Annual Assessment Reporting Template. The Report will be archived on the
UAC website (click here to go to the archive which is in revision and will becomplete in Summer 2013). The primary contact(s)
for your report will receive the completed feedback rubric to share with
program faculty. The feedback rubric will be placed in a special password-protected
archive on the University Assessment Committee website, and will only be
accessible through request by the primary contact or department/ program chair. The feedback rubric will also be used to determine whether you are eligible for a Seal of Assessment Excellence of a Letter of Commendation. Click here to read more about our Assessment Awards.
You can follow up on the rubric feedback provided by UAC members by contacting Sue Pieper at OCLDAA to schedule a Café
Meeting. The Café Meeting, offered
jointly by the UAC and the OCLDAA is a new, informal opportunity for faculty to
discuss how to bolster their assessment efforts to answer meaningful questions
about their students’ learning. Additionally, program faculty can contact K.
Laurie Dickson at OCLDAA to ask questions, obtain consultation from the OCLDAA,
or request other assistance.
The Assessment Process: The purpose of our designClick here to read about the purpose of our assessment design
There is no single “right” way to design and implement
assessment. Across the country,
universities have each adopted an approach they feel is best suited to the priorities
and circumstances of their institution.
Similarly, the University Assessment Committee has developed
its assessment process and requirements in a manner that honors NAU’s
assessment values (click here to
read descriptions of the assessment values) ensuring that assessment is (1)
faculty-driven; (2) meaningful and useful; (3) focused on student learning; and
(4) continual (rather than episodic).
Our process, template, and feedback rubric were designed
specifically to address these, as follows:
- Our process ensures that faculty members create
a vision of their curriculum and develop its structure in a manner they deem
best serves their degree program’s academic goals and the unique talents of
their department. This is accomplished
through the creation of a Degree Program Mission Statement, Degree Program Learning
Outcomes, and a Curriculum Map.
- Faculty members decide, based on their academic
goals and strategic plans, what assessment questions will be most meaningful
and useful to assess, and decide what, how, and when to assess learning in
their degree programs.
- The majority, if not all, faculty in the degree
program are included in identifying what will be assessed and how the results
will be used in decision making, and reviewing findings, discussing
interpretations, and deciding what action(s) are appropriate based on their
- In providing feedback rubrics, our feedback is given
directly to the Primary Assessment Contact to distribute to their department,
college, and other groups as they see fit.
The degree program faculty members remain in charge of distributing
their findings and providing updates to their leadership. We have selected this approach because we
desire that degree programs ask questions that will guide their continual
improvement. In order to ask meaningful
questions that will lead to change, faculty need to be in charge of how they
will disseminate their own findings.
- We have designed our process to provide feedback
to faculty at various points (phases), that peer faculty can guide and support
their colleagues in framing their assessment questions in a manner that
collects data that is useful and meaningful to faculty members’ current
academic goals and decision making processes.
Annual Assessment Reporting Template & Phases: How it is designedClick here to explore how the Annual Assessment Reporting Template was designed
In developing NAU’s Assessment Process we (the University
Assessment Committee and the Office of Curriculum, Learning Design &
Academic Assessment) conducted extensive research into best practices in
assessment and engaged in extensive conversations with faculty and staff to
tailor the process to align with our aspirations for NAU’s culture of
assessment and provide support and feedback to faculty members to ensure they
have the resources they need to achieve excellence with this process. We ensured our process was as flexible as
possible, understanding that programs demonstrate a wide range of experience in
academic assessment. This led to the
creation of “Phases” within our assessment process, that a degree program can
complete what they are able to complete without being overwhelmed.
The three phases of our assessment process are each designed
to achieve specific assessment goals:
Phase 1 defines the context of the degree program (Mission),
its Learning Outcomes, and how the curriculum is designed to achieve those
Learning Outcomes (Curriculum Map). Reviewing
the degree program’s context is meant to lead the faculty in the development of
meaningful assessment questions, and the development of an assessment design
that will provide useful data in answering their assessment questions.
Phase 2 focuses entirely on collecting quality data, which frequently
takes significant time and energy.
Phase 3 explores the findings, interpretations and
implications of findings. The third step
is to use the your findings to inform your curriculum, learning design,
assessment design, and, when you’re ready, to disseminate your findings to
Once a cycle is completed, return to Phase 1 to make
curricular and learning design changes, or to develop a different research
question to continue exploration of the degree program.
The annual assessment reporting cycle is designed so that
each step within the template provides the foundation for and leads directly to
the next step. Below is a table
demonstrating the Assessment Phase, the steps associated with each phase from
the Annual Assessment Report Template, and the purpose of the steps in the
Step in Assessment
Purpose of Step in
Phase 1: Mission,
Learning Outcomes & Assessment Strategy
1. Degree Program Mission
Identify the broader Mission and purpose(s) of their
2. Degree Program Student Learning Outcomes
Identify the specific knowledge and skills students will
possess upon completion of their degree
3. Curriculum Map
Identify how and within which courses Program Learning
Outcomes are addressed across the curriculum
4. Assessment Question or Questions
Develop an assessment question, or questions, of
importance to the faculty, and identify how they intend to use the
information gathered for decision making about the teaching and learning in
5. Assessment Design
Identify who, of their students, they will be assessing,
and the pros and cons of their assessment methods
6. Assessment Measures
Provide descriptions or actual data collection tools (if
they want feedback from the UAC on their tools), to ensure the tools are
collecting data useful for decision making
7. Assessment Strategy
Provide a clear plan of who, when, and how the data will
be collected, analyzed, and presented to faculty, which assists in realistic planning
and utilization of faculty time and resources
Phase 2: Data
8. Data Collection
Collect the data
Phase 3: Findings,
Interpretations, & Recommendations
9. Findings, Interpretations & Implications
Analyze the findings, providing and discussing
interpretations, and potential actions and decisions that can be made using
10. Curricular/ Learning Design Modifications
Describe curricular or learning design changes that the
faculty will make based on their findings, if such changes result from the
11. Assessment Changes/ Future Assessment Questions
Describe future assessment questions, or assessment
changes to make based on findings, if such questions result from the findings
12. Dissemination of Findings
Describe plans for disseminating and sharing the findings,
if such dissemination is appropriate for the data collection and findings.
Repeat the process to monitor the effectiveness of
curricular changes, and examine other assessment questions.
Contact K. Laurie Dickson at OCLDAA with questions, to request assistance from OCLDAA staff, or to schedule a meeting with UAC members.