Assessment of outcomes

While outcomes directly linked to academic programs are only one component of the achievement of students, the Senate has agreed that units responsible for students’ academic programs should take the main responsibility for bringing forward plans for the assessment of outcomes for their program. In developing this plan, units should consider:
  • Re-use of course-embedded assessments for outcomes assessment
  • Enhancement of course assessments to allow for evaluation of outcomes
  • Evaluation within the program of outcomes not assessed through courses
  • Information from other sources about the achievements of students in the program, such as University or School-level surveys, performance in standardized tests, and achievements in the co-curriculum
  • Arrangements to ensure that the results of assessment are communicated and have an impact on the program

The overall aim should be to ensure that: assessment activities are effective, well coordinated and adequately resourced; redundancy and over-testing is avoided; and results and areas for improvement are communicated and that follow-up occurs.

Although the principle focus in the assessment of outcomes has been the achievement of graduate attributes, clarity about learning outcomes at intermediate points in students’ careers – the end of year one or entering their final year – and the evaluation of students’ achievement of desired outcomes at these intermediate points makes an important contribution to understanding the learning process, curriculum design and the set up of out-of-class learning opportunities. This effort can also complement and reduce the burden of “exit’ evaluations of students’ achievements.