Assessment Manual Feb 08 by 185Mjt


									                                         Clarke College Assessment Manual

                                                     Table of Contents

Section                                                                                                  Page

Chapter 1: Program Overview
       Mission Statement ................................................................................. 1
       Institutional Assessment Overview ....................................................... 2
                Office of Institutional Research ............................................... 10
                Academic Assessment Committee .......................................... 11
       Organizational Structure for Academic Assessment ........................... 12

Chapter 2: Guidelines for Assessment
       Academic Program Review ................................................................. 13
              Overview of the Program Review Report ............................... 15
              Elements of an Effective Program Review ............................. 19
              Review Team Report Guide .................................................... 20
              Academic Program Review Schedule ..................................... 21
              Program Review Report Form................................................. 22
              Board Review Summary Sheet ................................................ 25
       Dept/Program Level Assessment Feedback Loop ............................... 26
       North Central Guidelines ..................................................................... 27
       Principles of Good Practice ................................................................. 29
       Assessment Advice .............................................................................. 30
       Guide for Developing Department Assessment Plans......................... 31
       Course Level Assessment Feedback Loop .......................................... 34
       Process Guide for Departmental Assessment of Outcomes ................ 35
       Syllabus Checklist ............................................................................... 36
       End of year Report Outline.................................................................. 37
       Department End of Year Report Form ................................................ 38
       Faculty Evaluations ............................................................................. 43

Chapter 3: Rubrics
       General Education
              Spirituality ............................................................................... 44
              Writing ..................................................................................... 45
              Speaking .................................................................................. 47
              Technology .............................................................................. 49
              Thinking .................................................................................. 51
       Department .......................................................................................... 52

                                   Chapter One: Program Overview

                                   Clarke College Mission Statement

We are a Catholic coeducational liberal arts college founded in 1843 by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed
Virgin Mary in Dubuque, Iowa. Clarke educates students at the postsecondary level in the liberal arts and
sciences, the fine arts, selected professional programs, and graduate programs.

We, the faculty, students, staff and administration are a caring, learning community committed to excellence in
education. We provide a supportive environment that encourages personal and intellectual growth, promotes
global awareness and social responsibility, and deepens spiritual values.

To Foster Our Mission:

WE ENCOURAGE personal and intellectual growth by:
      challenging ourselves to grow, experiment, and explore
      fostering critical thinking and informed decision-making
      requiring articulate communication of thoughts and ideas
      setting high standards for quality
      utilizing the best tools available for learning
      providing skills for success in the contemporary world
      developing creativity, aesthetic awareness, and appreciation
      encouraging personal initiative and leadership
      promoting physical well-being
      instilling a passion for life-long learning.

WE PROMOTE global awareness and social responsibility by:
      supporting and caring for one another
      recognizing the responsibility and necessity to serve others
      reaching out actively to serve the community
      respecting individual rights, privacy, and diversity
      raising consciousness regarding contemporary issues
      emphasizing peaceful resolutions to conflict
      modeling collaboration in leadership
      bringing about positive changes as responsible members of a world community.

WE DEEPEN spiritual values by:
      supporting the Catholic tradition
      enhancing one's own search for the Sacred
      applying spiritual values in our lives
      challenging ourselves to understand other traditions
      experiencing community celebrations of faith.

THEREFORE, we envision our graduates to be persons who believe in and demonstrate:
      intellectual rigor and curiosity
      critical analysis and informed decision-making
      spiritual depth and values
      aesthetic sensitivity and cultural appreciation
      active community involvement
      contemporary professional skills in field of choice
      personal and social responsibility
      acceptance of diversity in people and ideas
      self-knowledge, self-confidence, and self-motivation.

                             Institutional Assessment Overview

Procedures and Processes
We encourage personal and intellectual growth by setting high standards of quality.
                                                                    -Clarke College Mission

The general education curriculum, undergraduate major programs, graduate programs,
scholarly activities both on and off campus, and the broad experiences of alumnae constitute a
rich collection of resources revealing the collective spirit linking the college to the legacy of
Mary Frances Clarke and her associates. Just as they used their education to address needs,
respond to challenges, and plan for the future in their day, Clarke students today develop the
same sensitivity to the global needs of society.

The mission of Clarke College together with institutional outcomes form the framework for
optimizing achievement of each person expressed in and through the core values of Justice,
Freedom, Charity and Education of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(BVMs). The following mission outcomes, "…personal and intellectual growth, global
awareness and social responsibility, and spiritual values…." are articulated by faculty through
learning designs, processes, and assessments. These outcomes define what a Clarke graduate
should know, value, and be able to do.

Student-centered learning is at the heart of the mission of Clarke College. It is linked to
curricular and co-curricular activities to achieve institutional outcomes. Engaged collaborative
learning is integrated throughout all programs across the campus: academic, service learning,
athletics, campus ministry, counseling, and career services. Learning outcomes are measured
through three-year revolving cycles adapted to specific program goals. Achievement of
program outcomes contributes to preparation of the whole person for life in the 21st Century.

General Education Program
Inspire students to think for themselves. -Mary Frances Clarke (c 1880)

Clarke College students are required to complete the General Education Program designed
around four major outcomes: knowledge, communication, thinking and spirituality. This
program provides students with capabilities, and opportunities for integration and synthesis of
general education knowledge, skills and values. Student learning is promoted through student
academic engagement through these outcomes:

The ability to communicate the knowledge, skills and values identified in specific learning
outcomes is a primary focus of the general education foundational level courses. This is
reinforced throughout divisional level courses, and culminates in Capstone courses. Emphasis
is placed on connecting relationships between disciplines, courses, related events, and real-life
applications. The General Education Program outcomes are assessed by specific rubrics for
writing, speaking, thinking, and spirituality. Results generated from data reported through the
institutional assessment reporting tool (ART) are analyzed and reported in consultation with
the Director of General Education. These reports are reviewed by the Institutional Assessment
Committee whose recommendations are evaluated by the Planning Committee to recommend
decisions for institutional change.

Institutional assessment includes direct and indirect measures to document student
achievement of learning outcomes and program effectiveness. General education course
outcomes are aligned with program and institutional outcomes. Faculty members incorporate
knowledge, values, and skills and rubrics introduced in the Cornerstone and foundational
level courses. These assessment rubrics assist students to integrate general education
outcomes consistently throughout the program.

Rubrics and Standardized Tests

The spring 2006 report of the General Education Task Force indicated that the Clarke rubric
evaluation format is a more effective assessment for students than academic standardized test
or set of tests that would not align with the Clarke College curriculum and mission. This does
not imply that standardized tests are not used to assess learner success in programs where
standardized testing is appropriate.

Standardized testing data is collected to determine foreign language and mathematics
proficiency levels of incoming freshmen. The foreign language Modern Language Proficiency
standardized test is a contextualized reading assessment from the center for advanced research
on language acquisition at the University of Minnesota. This test was administered in fall

A pilot test of basic technology proficiency was adopted and implemented in the fall of 2003.
In spring 2006 a standardized technology proficiency test: Technology Assessment:
International Computer Drivers License Computer Skills Placement (ICDL) test was
administered to incoming freshmen in fall 2006 and fall 2007.

In summer 2005 students took Accuplacer for writing and math. These tests have been
discontinued. The writing test was replaced by a Clarke writing assessment created and
implemented by Director of Writing Center and Learning Center/Library staff. ACT math
scores were used for placement with specific cases referred to the Math department.


The portfolio assessment process begins in the introductory general education Cornerstone
course and involving comprehensive advising and yielding immediate feedback. This
initiative began in fall 2003 cohort of first-year students. These students began a portfolio of
assessment in the new Cornerstone class with the intent that this resource would continue to
be expanded through the students’ baccalaureate program including general education courses
as well as academic major courses. By spring 2006 the process was reviewed and
subsequently discontinued. The Portfolio Subcommittee and other general education faculty
deemed the process as too labor intensive for faculty and academic advisors who would have
had to assume additional responsibilities for tracking. Moreover, the initial steps used to
develop portfolio proved cumbersome and ineffective for accurately measuring student
learning outcomes. This process was discontinued to be refined in spring 2006. This process
proved to be unsuccessful for measuring general education and major outcomes. The process
was labor intensive and ineffective outcomes for measuring student learning outcomes. The
portfolio process has been replaced with a new general education and major program process
for measuring outcomes through foundational, divisional and capstone courses.

This new assessment process is one means of collecting evidence, and which enables faculty
and administrators to track student progress in achieving learning outcomes defined by the
college mission and institutional goals. Assessment data are used to inform institutional
decisions regarding programmatic change to improve student learning indicated by analysis
reports on program effectiveness through end-of-year and five-year program reports.

Summative Assessment of Student Learning
We must wake up their minds by constantly calling into action their powers of observation
and reasoning, and provoke them to discover for themselves. -Mary Frances Clarke, 1884

There are multiple indicators attesting to ways students demonstrate that graduates have
achieved breadth of knowledge and skills and the capacity to exercise intellectual inquiry.
This evidence provides evidence that Clarke College education is effective in preparing
students for life-long learning. Among these are successful completion of the Capstone course
(beginning in 2005-2006), senior research and performance requirements, the mission
effectiveness survey, departmental alumni surveys, placement rates in employment or
continued education, reports from employers and colleagues of the graduates, service
performed beyond the workplace, and statements of Clarke College alumni. This data is
reported in five-year department reports.

Senior Performance

The culmination of student learning at Clarke College is the Senior Performance Project, an
independently (with faculty guidance) conceived and completed project resulting in a public
presentation, performance, or display. Clarke College requires all undergraduate students
demonstrate major departmental learning outcomes through the senior project and
presentation. Students demonstrate evidence of breadth of knowledge and skills and the
capacity to exercise intellectual inquiry. While projects vary from department to department,
generally these projects include a synthesis of a variety of skills and knowledge and the ability
to design and conduct research, and organize and present results of scholarly work. Faculty
expectations for independent engagement in personal and intellectual growth are synthesized
in this senior performance assessment. In spring 2005 departmental senior performance
coursework was conjoined with the general education capstone courses.

Mission Effectiveness and Alumni Surveys

Graduating seniors complete a survey of 21 items that focus on general education, learning
within the major field, and their opinions relative to both areas. Results from these surveys
highlight areas of student satisfaction and areas where further research needs to occur. Among
these are areas such as personal, intellectual, and spiritual growth.

Result from the mission effectiveness survey of recent graduates, conducted in spring 2006,
demonstrated that students developed "growth in awareness of the needs of the world and
social responsibility, appreciation for diversity and respect for person" Areas where ratings
are low need to be addressed and analyzed for further action.

When departments engage in programmatic review every five years, alumni are surveyed and
the results provide additional support for the positive role Clarke College has played, and
continues to play, in their life of learning. Among the items assessed are leadership skills,
quantitative math skills, personal spiritual growth, community service participation, and the
ability to use technological resources. Departments use these responses to revise and refine
courses and programs.

Direct Assessment Measures

Assessment of student learning is an ongoing process at Clarke College. The means of
assessing student learning have become more refined and more precise as the needs of
students have changed and as learning theory and praxis has developed. Instructional delivery
has changed significantly. New curriculum designs for brain-based, problem-based, digital
game based online learning models have been integrated into curriculum design, instruction
and assessment models.

Direct assessment measures indicate student success in the achievement of course and
program outcomes; these methods include standardized exams, course-embedded testing,
portfolios, video/audio performances and presentations, capstone and eportfolio evaluations.
The feedback loop for informing institutional change includes: feedback to students,
departments, assessment and planning committee to complete communication across multiple
levels of the institution to inform institutional change for continuous improvement. The
language and practice of assessment has become institutionalized across all campus

Assessment processes at Clarke follow a "Student-Centered Learning Outcomes" model,
beginning at the course level with formal statements of outcomes (what students should know,
value, and be able to do) explicitly stated in syllabi. Each faculty member define specific
learning outcomes, strategies, products, and rubrics aligned to institutional, program and
course outcomes in each syllabus. Department chairs are responsible for reviewing course
outcomes to ensure that they are aligned with institutional, department (major programs),
division, and/or general education outcomes. Departments follow a three-year assessment
cycle for measuring outcomes. Data is submitted, analyzed and reviewed by department
members, assessment committee members, and the planning committee to complete the loop
on the need for institutional change.

Indirect Assessment Measures

Assessment of student learning at Clarke College serves several purposes and takes place at
multiple levels, beginning with the freshman "seamless" experience initiated as part of a Title
III grant. Several components of this experience include the following:
        • The Noel-Levitz Retention Management System College Student Inventory (CSI)
allows the student and advisor to jointly identify factors that might lead to attrition. During its
first year of implementation, 98% of first-time, full-time traditional students completed the

        • The Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) is given to high risk students
(identified by ACT scores and high school GP As) in order to provide the student with
comprehensive advising and assistance in learning. Once enrolled, these students take a
learning preference inventory to aid them in planning study practices, which are then
specified in a personalized success contract. The Learning Center staff makes this inventory

available to faculty as a way of informing them of methods and strategies to use in teaching,
based on the characteristics of today's student.

       • To ensure student success, faculty and administration use "early alerts" and mid-
course grades to monitor the progress of students whose success may be in question.
Advisors, counselors, and the Learning Center staff all work together to identify what may be
causing a student to fail. Plans for assistance and individual contracts are used to guide the
student toward success in learning.

       • The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator is given to students in the Cornerstone course.
Career Services staff makes group presentations that help students interpret the results.
Students are encouraged to make individual appointments with Career Services staff to
discuss career choices based on their personality traits.

       • The "60-second Critic," given prior to one of the evening class sessions each
semester to surveys students' attitudes toward academic programs. Outcomes and assessment
methods are designed to align with and to foster the mission of the college. Personnel in
Student Life and Academic Affairs work together to view the student as a whole person
engaged in learning. Classroom learning, service learning, athletics, campus ministry,
counseling, and career service programs all address the development of the whole person.

Department-Level Assessment

Two kinds of department level assessment occur through program reviews and annual end-of-
the-year reviews. Program reviews provide departments with the opportunity to conduct an in-
depth departmental self-study, review outcomes and assessment of student learning and to
provide a sense of direction for the future. All programs are reviewed on a regular cycle. Each
department relates the department outcomes to Clarke's mission, values, and goals as well as
the specific disciplinary outcomes.

Program Reviews

Accredited departments experience program reviews by agencies outside the college on a
regular basis. These include. Athletic Training, Education, Music, Nursing, Physical Therapy,
and Social Work, all of which have prescriptive outcomes legislated by external accrediting
agencies. The accredited departments must comply with the accrediting agency's criteria,
within the context of Clarke’s mission and vision for its graduates. The outcomes and levels
of achievement in each program are fully stated and demonstrated in regular accreditation
reports. In addition all departments are reviewed on a five-year cycle. These reviews
recognize the diversity existing among departments and allow creativity in the expression of
the department assessment plan within the general guidelines.

In the department review process, departments evaluate programs, stating both strengths and
weaknesses. This offers them the opportunity to evaluate student achievement and to inform
the administration of accomplishments and concerns. This process provides administration
with information necessary for planning on a regular basis. Data in the review include
enrollment trends, results of licensure examinations, and placement of alumni in graduate
programs or jobs. Data collected at the time of program review also include an alumni survey
in which graduates evaluate their preparedness for employment or for graduate study, their
satisfaction with the major, and the importance of the outcomes of both general education and
major programs in preparing them for life. Alumni responses provide the college and the
department with feedback needed to revise and update programs to improve student learning.

Clarke College engages in ongoing review of its programs and curriculum in a variety of
formats. Some departments schedule an annual retreat to examine the relevancy, rigor, and
appropriateness of the curriculum for successful student achievement of the department's
outcomes. Other departments bring adjunct faculty and clinical instructors together with full-
time program faculty to examine the program's coursework and environment, and plan
accordingly for future instruction. Weekly and monthly department and division meetings
provide another forum for review and evaluation.

Regardless of the nature, length, or format of the academic program review, its purpose is to
examine the effectiveness of the program based on how it articulates and enables students to
achieve Clarke College's mission, vision, and values. The review assesses student learning-
knowledge, assimilation, and application. Faculty give serious consideration to the specific
courses taught, the number of credit hours required for a major, and the relevance of these to
skills currently required by the professions in which students will seek employment.

These self-studies have resulted in changes in course requirements, course content,
instructional strategies, and/or the incorporation of new technologies. On occasion, significant
changes are made that result in the addition of a new emphasis within the major program.
More often than not, these modifications reflect the current market and the needs of the
workforce to which graduates will apply for jobs. Such curricular revisions revive programs
and make courses more relevant to the students who need to function in a global, diverse, and
technological society.

Clarke College's academic departments endeavor to articulate goals and learning outcomes
that include skills and professional competence essential to the diverse workforce to which
students aspire. Frequently, departments examine their articulated learning outcomes in
relation to the demands of the workplace by gleaning pertinent information from
conversations with alumni, current employers of former students, corporate leaders who know
and value Clarke's mission, professionals with excellent records of community service and
ethical practice, and colleagues in the particular discipline as well as other areas of the
college. Most departments have surveyed alumni and professionals in their disciplines.
Information gathered from these questionnaires has provided significant data for each unit in
assessing and revising its program. Course and program changes take into account Clarke
College's student population and the world beyond it.

Some departments employ external models for assessment. For example, the PT faculty use
the "Normative Model of Physical Therapist Professional Education" published by the
American Physical Therapy Association (APT A, 1997), and music faculty employ the model
of the National Association of Schools of Music. In addition to criteria such as these that
assess the strengths and weaknesses of the departmental curriculum, annual graduate surveys
and employee surveys from the corporate sector provide other ways to analyze student

Curricular evaluation at Clarke College regularly involves the entire campus community and
numerous external constituents who understand the relationship between academic process
and growth and the usefulness of the knowledge and skills gained. Surveys, college and
societal demographics, interactions among community groups, advisory boards, and a myriad
of other sources inform this college community about it ongoing mission, curriculum and

End-of-the-Year Reports

In addition to program reviews, departments provide annual end-of-the-year reports on the
progress of the department in accomplishing yearly departmental and college goals. Basing
their data on enrollment and financial statistics provided by the institutional researcher, the
departments look at courses and curriculum, student and faculty achievements, and identify
and respond to societal trends which affect their discipline. In addition to other important
information, faculty, curricular, and programmatic changes resulting from analysis of the
trends are also reported.

Course Level Assessment

Individual faculty members develop specific course outcomes within the frameworks of the
major program, service courses, or the general education program. Faculty members create
strategies to determine whether those outcomes have been achieved. To ensure that
assessment strategies become a regular component of course planning throughout the
curriculum, all syllabi are required to include statements of course outcomes and assessment
methods. The department chair has the responsibility for ensuring that this requirement is met.
Examination of course syllabi shows that instructors use multiple methods of assessing
student learning. Among these are:
        • Course-embedded assignments requiring research, writing, and oral presentations
        • Observation of student behavior in collaborative learning
        • Laboratory practice
        • Internally/externally juried reviews, in art, music and drama
        • Analysis of case studies
        • Standardized or national licensure
        • Professional/clinical performance with third-party testing-Licensure/boards
        • Faculty-designed examinations, units, mid-terms, and finals done in a variety of
ways: paper-pencil, computer generated tests, orals, projects, etc.
        • Reports on conferences or lectures attended
        • Recitals and exhibits
In the process of developing assessment methods faculty have also developed specific rubrics
to inform students to focus on specific indicators for measuring the learning outcome.
Assessment of courses is also aided by the results of the Course/Instructor Evaluation
Questionnaire (CIEQ) in which two levels of feedback are provided to assist faculty members
in improving their courses. On one level, open-ended questions allow students to give
feedback directly to the faculty member by giving suggestions about how the course can be
improved and through comments on the relevance of subject matter, clarity of objectives, and
the value of the text book. The forms are returned to the faculty member shortly after the
beginning of the next term to make timely changes possible.

Faculty Evaluation Faculty and Staff Goals

Faculty and staff goals in the areas of teaching, professional development, and service are
established and reviewed yearly by the department chair or the Vice President for Academic
Affairs. This assessment process lays the foundation for subsequent planning of new faculty
or staff goals, new or modified curriculum, and increasing the effectiveness of college and
departmental policies and procedures. Guidelines are found in the Faculty Evaluation

Evaluation of Teaching

Teaching effectiveness is assessed on an annual basis according to a newly designed faculty
evaluation process. Faculty are evaluated on expertise, instructional design, and instructional
delivery, based on college standards. Although Clarke College encourages and supports
research, it emphasizes effective teaching as essential to its mission.

A new Faculty Evaluation Manual was adopted unanimously by the Faculty Senate in March
2003. The evaluation plan does not change any basic policies related to promotion, tenure, or
septennial review (i.e., degree qualifications, years of experience for ranks, etc.) It does,
however, change and clarify evaluation procedures, including incorporation of annual goal
setting and end-of-year reports of activities as well as use of results of the newly introduced
means of student evaluation, the Course/Instructor Evaluation Questionnaire (CIEQ).

The new evaluation process flows directly from the mission of the college and is designed to
provide a comprehensive approach to reviewing and evaluating the activities of faculty
members at Clarke College. .It also provides a set of standards to clarify expectations in the
areas of teaching, professional activities, and service. Components of the comprehensive
system include:
        • Descriptions of the three roles (teaching, professional activities, service) established
to evaluate faculty members at Clarke College and examples of typical activities within these
roles. The faculty member determines the weight of each role in the annual evaluation, within
ranges specified by the college. The percentages are agreed on in an annual goal-setting
process involving faculty members and department chairs. Teaching always has the highest
percentage of commitment.
        • A rubric describing the institutional standards of professional performance of the
components of each role. Performance is evaluated using a four-point scale ranging from 1
(Unacceptable) to 4 (Exemplary).
        • Annual goal setting and evaluation of each faculty member by self and department
chair. In some years peers also participate in the process.
        • Cycles of evaluation of all faculty members by their peers at specified intervals.
These include both formative and summative evaluations.
        • Student evaluations from the CIEQ (Course/Instructor Evaluation Questionnaire,
which provide both formative and summative results. This tool provides feedback for
comparing faculty to internal subgroups (college, department) as well as national norms. It
also provides feedback by subscales related to attitude, method, content, interest, and
instructor that will be used in faculty development efforts.


Office of Institutional Research

The Office of Institutional Research is the central place where data is sent for compilation
and analysis. The college institutional researcher provides trend lines and statistics to inform
decision making.

 The institutional researcher aggregates data to be utilized for strategic planning, and
improving department and administrative areas’ performance.
The institutional researcher directly assists departments in designing survey instruments for
specific programs; data received from surveys are analyzed by and with the institutional
researcher. All research projects involving programs, students, and faculty are overseen by the
Institutional researcher and the Institutional Review Board. The institutional researcher is also
responsible for analyzing the accumulated assessment data. One of the research questions
recently addressed, for example, concerned the relevance of the current assessment program
for student learning, program development, and accountability. The results led to a revision of
the tools used with incoming students.

Academic Assessment Committee

   Assessment Committee


             The purpose of the committee is to plan and implement the institutional assessment
             program. The committee reviews analysis reports on data and recommends
             programmatic changes to the academic dean.


             The committee consists of seven (7) faculty members elected by academic divisions
             for two (2) year terms. Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs (ex-officio)
             Vice President of Information Technology, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Director
             of General Education, Director of Student Life, Director of Institutional
             Advancement. The committee chair is the Director of Assessment.

                  Authority and Responsibility

             The functions of the assessment committee are three-fold: (1) to direct short-term
             and long-term planning of the assessment program; (2) to design, implement, and
             evaluate assessment procedures, processes, and workshops; (3) to communicate and
             disseminate information through the assessment website.


                  Agendas, minutes and materials are sent to committee members prior to bi-
                   weekly meetings.
                  Decisions are recommended to the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs
                   or to appropriate committees.


             The Director of Assessment reports to the Provost/Vice President for Academic


             Meetings are conducted bi-weekly throughout the academic year.

Organizational Structure for Academic Assessment

                           Chapter 2: Guidelines for Assessment

Academic Program Review

 Regular academic program reviews include attention to currency and
 relevance of courses and programs. (HLC Handbook of Accreditation).


Program review is a strategic process that all academic institutions undertake on a periodic
basis. Clarke College Academic Program Reviews are scheduled on a five-year cycle. Each
year a certain number of academic programs complete a self-study and are reviewed by a
committee of faculty, staff and administrators. Program review is an integral part of the
college’s ongoing assessment and strategic planning processes. Such reviews are only
successful when they represent the combined efforts of all faculty teaching in the programs,
are comprehensive in nature, represent honest appraisals of the strengths and weaknesses
of the programs, and result in actions that will improve undergraduate and graduate


Academic programs are regularly evaluated for the purpose of identifying where they need to
be strengthened, modified where change is appropriate, or eliminated if they are no longer
viable or congruent with the college mission. The outcomes of program reviews help to
guide the institution in making decisions about academic directions and resource allocations.
Thus, program reviews help in long-range planning by providing information about the size
and stability or vitality of a program, its faculty resources and student demand, its equipment
and space needs, its strengths and weaknesses, its contribution to the mission of the

The goals of these self-studies and reviews are thus:
   1. to assess and improve the quality of the academic programs
   2. to monitor program performance and effectiveness
   3. to provide guidance for academic planning decisions
   4. to modify or eliminate programs when appropriate
   5. to ensure the availability of resources to continue academic excellence
   6. to prioritize and redirect funds where needed

In addition to the college five year cycle of program reviews, several academic departments
must complete self-studies as part of their accreditation/ reaccreditation processes. These
reviews are submitted to agencies outside the College on a regular basis. The accredited
programs at Clarke College are Athletic Training, Education, Music, Nursing, Physical
Therapy, and Social Work, all of which have prescriptive outcomes legislated by their
external accrediting agencies. These accredited programs must comply with the accrediting
agency’s criteria, within the context of Clarke’s vision for its graduates. The outcomes and
levels of achievement for each program must be fully stated and demonstrated in regular


Program review is an internal process that should be both meaningful to the program being
reviewed and closely aligned with planning and budgetary decisions of the College. The
process requires careful organization and planning, recognition of specific
program/departmental characteristics, and development of a comprehensive data profile for
each program.

   1. The normal review cycle is five years. Approximately 5 academic departments
      participate in program reviews each year.

   2. When possible, for programs which have specialized accreditation, the academic
      program review is scheduled to occur in relationship to the external processes. In
      such cases, the College accepts the external review, provided it contains the required
      institutional information. When it does not, an addendum to the external report may
      be submitted for the College program review.

   3. Fall program reviews are to be completed by October 15’ Spring program reviews by
      February 15 .

   4. External reviewers may be requested by the program faculty or the Provost/VP for
      Academic Affairs to assist in the program review.

   5. Departments with undergraduate and graduate programs complete a program review
      for each area.

   6. Departments with multiple programs complete a review for each program.

   7. Department Chairs contact the Office of Institutional Research for assistance with an
      alumni survey and other statistical reports on pertinent data (IR data).

   8. Completed reviews are submitted to the Provost/VPAA.

   9. Subcommittees of the College Planning Committee:

        Examine the program reviews and write a report
        Meet with the academic department faculty for clarification
        Present a written report on the program strengths, concerns, observations, and
        recommendations to the Planning Committee.

   10. The Provost/VPAA discusses the review and summary report with the President

   11. The Provost/VPAA meets with the department faculty and reviews comments,
       concerns and recommendations.

   12. Program review recommended actions are reported to the Faculty Senate
       and the Board of Trustees.

Clarke College, comparable to all institutions of higher education, will not have large
increases in available funds in the foreseeable future. Thus, any new project requiring
additional resources, both the amount and the source of funding should be addressed in the
departmental review.

Overview of the Program Review Report

   1. The review must be evaluative as well as descriptive, directed toward improvement,
      resulting in specific actions, and coordinate program mission and goals and with
      institutional mission and goals.

   2. The program review consists of two parts submitted as WORD documents: an
      Executive Summary (2-3 pages) which highlights the major aspects of the report and
      the Program Review Report.

   3. The body of the program review report should summarize and interpret data from two

      Program demographics such as enrollment and faculty data over a five-
      year period (supplied by the Office of Institutional Research) should include
      the following:
           Number of majors
           Number of graduates (number from original cohort that graduated in 4 years, 5
               years or more)
           Course enrollments (look at same courses over time)
           Average class size
           Total credit hours generated by department
           Credit hours generated by each faculty member
           Advising load by faculty
           Number of full-time faculty (include name, degree, rank)
           Number of part-time faculty (include name, degree, rank)
           Number of adjuncts (include name, degree)
           Student/faculty ratio
           Student profile data (gender, FT & PT, transfers, SAT or ACT score ranges,
               etc.) (Do not include names of students.)
           Inquiry data from Admissions for the last 3 years

      Program Information (data supplied and analyzed by the program faculty)
          Mission statement and relationship to College mission
          Program outcomes and relationship to College outcomes
          Plan for assessing program outcomes (3-year cycle)
          Results from assessment of outcomes
          Program changes based on assessment results
          Program curriculum Maps
          Contributions to General Education & TimeSaver Programs
          Service courses for other departments
          Indicators of teaching and advising quality
          Integration of technology in teaching and learning
          Uniqueness/distinctiveness of program
          Accreditation status (if applicable)
          Future planning – How the program will look in 5 years
          Financial data and assessment of resources
          Description of facilities, equipment, space
          Quality of Library Holdings (print & electronic)
          Other indicators of program quality (i.e., external awards or

              Student participation in Honors Program, Study Abroad, and/or service
              Board/licensure passing rates
              Alumni survey results
              Employment or graduate school numbers
              Response to previous program reviews
              Peer institution comparisons

   4. In general, the internal self-study should:
           Be factual and explicit.
           Describe the program(s), faculty, and students.
           Describe the challenges and opportunities that the program(s) is currently
             facing (student recruitment and enrollment, retention, general education,
             scholarship, creative activity, distance education, facilities, etc.).
           Describe how the program(s) contributes to each of the following areas:
             general education, distance education, student recruitment and retention
             activities, scholarship, creative activity, etc.).
           Describe what issues it has addressed since the previous report.
           Describe how the department can address the challenges and exploit the
             opportunities identified above.
           When possible, use information from end-of-year and assessment reports.

Address the Following Items for Each Program being Reviewed:

1. Departmental Philosophy and Mission
     State the department’s mission and goals
     Are any changes needed in this description? If so, please describe changes and why
      they are needed.
     Explain how the department’s mission and goals relate to the college’s mission and
     Describe the role the department plays in fostering the overall mission of the college.

2. Curriculum
     Describe how the department’s curricular offerings flow from the department’s
     List the requirements of each departmental program.
     List those courses from other departments that are required for completion of
       departmental programs.
     Describe how the College’s General Education Program impacts your department
       (requirements, personnel allocation, graduation rates, etc.).
     Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the department’s curricular offerings.
     List program, curricular, or pedagogical changes you anticipate will be needed during
       the next five years.

3. Departmental Personnel and Resources
     Briefly describe the strengths and weaknesses of current departmental personnel.
      (Current vitas of all faculty should be in an Appendix.)
     Summarize significant contributions current personnel have made in their areas of
      research/performance and service to the college and the community (professional
      offices held, publications, exhibitions, performances, consulting, etc.)

      Describe students’ rating of departmental faculty in the following CIEQ subscale
       areas: attitude, method, content, interest and instructor? (Do not include faculty
       names, only scores.)
      Are there any concerns students have expressed regarding faculty that need to be
      Compare departmental CIEQs with the college averages.
      Describe what personnel changes you expect will be needed during the next 5 years.
      Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the departmental library holdings.

4. Student Body
     Describe the efforts the department has made to recruit and retain students. (Include
       retention plan in appendix.)
     Describe how the department has worked with the Admissions Office to identify
       potential students and determine those most likely to attend.
     Describe the student profile for majors in your departmental programs. (age, gender,
       GPA, high school rank, ACT/SAT scores, FT & PT, transfers, etc.)
     List any characteristics unique to students who choose to major in your department.
       (demographic factors, career or educational goals, attitudes or values, etc.)
     Describe how the department is affected by the current makeup of the College’s
       student body. (traditional, nontraditional, FT, PT, etc.)

5. Assessment
     List the outcomes for each of your department programs.
     Explain how these relate to the College’s outcomes.
     Explain how each of these outcomes is assessed.
     Include program curricular maps in Appendix
     Describe what have you learned as a result of assessment of student outcomes in
       your programs.
     Explain how assessment results used to improve the department’s curriculum,
       teaching and learning.

6. Market Trends and Needs
     Describe changes that have occurred in the department during the past five years (#
       of students, gender, age, # graduates, curriculum, programs, etc.)
     Describe the market needs and trends that have impacted or will likely impact the
       department in the next five years. (If you have done a SWOT analysis recently,
       please include it in the Appendix.)
     Identify what peer institutions (in Iowa and elsewhere) you use as benchmarks for
       your programs.
     Describe the best practices at these institutions that you believe your program should
     Include Department of Labor Statistics relative to career trends in you major

7. Goals for the next five Years
     What goals did you set at the time of the last program review? Did you meet them? If
       not, why?
     In the light of the above information, what goals has the department set for the next
       five years? Curriculum? Technology? Staffing? Enrollment?
     List resources that will be needed to achieve these goals. (staff, facilities, library,
       technology, funding, collaboration with other institutions)
     Explain how current resources within the department be reallocated to achieve these

8. Attachments
     Alumni survey questionnaire and results
     Current curriculum vitas (abbreviated, containing activities over the last 5 years) for all
       departmental faculty
     Current departmental budget
     Departmental assessment plan
     Departmental evidence of student learning (% of students who meet departmental
       outcomes through selected assessment methods)
     Departmental recruitment and retention plans.
     List of projected five-year needs
     Sample course syllabi
     Statistics from Institutional Research Office

The Self Study documents and all attachments are to be placed in a three-ring binder.
Please do not have them permanently bound. In addition, a digital copy should be sent to
Mary Chapman, Administrative Assistant to the Provost/VP for Academic Affairs.

Elements of an Effective Program Review

1. Program review is evaluative, not merely descriptive. It requires academic judgments
   about the quality of the programs and the adequacy of their resources.

2. Review of programs is forward-looking: it is directed toward the improvement of the
   program, not just an assessment of its current status.

3. Departments engaged in program reviews are evaluated using academic criteria.

4. To the extent possible, program review is an objective process. It provides
   departments an opportunity to reflect on the condition and direction of their
   program(s). It brings faculty members from other departments (and at times, others
   from outside the institution) to review the self-studies and to make their own

5. The review is where a department charts the future course of its program(s) and not
   simply justifies its existence. It should represent an honest assessment of its
   strengths and challenges.

6. Program review is an independent process, separate from other reviews conducted
   by accrediting associations. However, data collection and parts of the department
   self-study may serve a number of review processes and thus program review may be
   scheduled to coincide with an external review.

7. Program reviews result in action. From the reviewers’ comments and
   recommendations, the institution develops a plan to implement the desired changes
   on a specific agreed-upon timetable. This plan is linked to the institution’s budget and
   planning process, to help insure that recommended changes actually get made, that
   necessary resources are allocated, and that the program’s goals fit into the
   institutions overall academic plans.

Review Team Report Guide

The Review Report is a written summary of the Review Team’s examination of the
academic program self-study report and related materials. The review report should
evaluate the evidence provided by the program review faculty, determine whether the
department has sufficiently addressed the issues raised and proposed plans for dealing
with the identified programmatic weaknesses. Based upon all the information provided in
the self study, identify what the program is doing very well, identify the major problem(s)
faced by the program at the present time. What can the program do to solve the problem
without additional resources? What additional resources might be needed to solve the
problems? In other words, summarize what resources need to be committed to continue
each program, what funds need to be allocated, and make specific recommendations
regarding the program’s continuation as is, modified, or eliminated.

To be effective, the report should be clear and direct. Both praise and criticism are
valuable features of reports. The more constructively criticism is phrased, the more
effective it is likely to be. Where findings are tentative or impressionistic, this should be
stated. Any personnel matters must be separated from the body of the report and should
be contained in a confidential statement.

The draft report will be sent to the Provost/VP for Academic Affairs who will consider the
issues presented in the report, comment on the Review Team’s recommendations and
discuss the findings with the President.

Academic Program Review Form for Team Members


Date of Review:





Academic Program Review Schedule 2006-2011

 2006-2007         2007-2008                2008-2009     2009-2010                  2010-2011

  SPRING         FALL                     FALL          FALL                        FALL

  Biology        Art                      History       Language &                  Accounting/
                                                        Literature                  Business
 Chemistry       Atheletic Training       Music         (English/Spanish)
                 (Accreditation Review)
                                                        CIS                         Education
                                                        Physical Therapy

                 SPRING                   SPRING        SPRING                      SPRING
                 Communications           Kinesiology   Social Work                 Psychology
                 Drama                    General       Nursing                     Religious
                                                        (Undergrad. Accreditation
                                          Education     Review)                     Studies
                 NCA Focus Visit

Program Review Report Form

Department Review _____________________________________

Evaluative Criteria        Rating                  Check   Performance Indicators
Faculty                    Excellent                          Adequate FT/PT and Adjunct Faculty
                           Adequate                           CIEQs
                           Weak                               Degrees
                                                              Professional Development
                                                              Service rendered by faculty to the institution
                                                              Teaching Experience

Current Students           Above Average                     Alumni Satisfaction
                           Average                           Entering ACT scores
                           Low                               GPAs
                                                             Graduate School
                                                             Job Placement
                                                             Number of Internships
                                                             Number of Job Placements
                                                             Student Profiles

Facilities & Equipment     Excellent                         Lab Instruments
                           Adequate                          Library Resources
                           Weak                              Office Space
                                                             Teaching Space
                                                             Technology (software & hardware)

Assessment                 Excellent                         Assessment Plan in Place
                           Adequate                          Improvement Plan includes analysis report on progress toward achieving proficiency of outcomes,
                           Weak                               e.g.70% of students are performing at a proficiency level on a particular outcome.

Centrality to Mission      Evident                           Goals clearly define alignment with the College Strategic direction of the Institution.
                           Clearly Aligned                   Are departmental goals leading in the same direction as the Strategic Plan?
                           Not Present

Current Student Demand     High                              Number of Majors
                           Medium                            Number of Students Retained
                           Low                               Service courses to general education and other majors
Evaluative Criteria         Rating      Check   Performance Indicators
                                                  Number on probation/dismissed

Projected Student Demand    Growing               Number of Inquiries
                            Stable                Report from Department of Labor Statistics
                            Declining             National, Regional, Local and 2 yr Colleges Demographics
                                                  Recruitment Plan

Demand for Graduate         High                  Employer Surveys
                            Medium                IAICU Surveys of Graduates
                            Low                   GDDC- Local Projections (I don’t know what the acronym stands for?)
                                                  Department of Labor Statistics

Market Advantages           High                  What program or facility sets the department apart from Tri Colleges?

Scope of Service            High                Courses and support services to the institution and other majors as well as to other majors, and to local
                            Medium              areas.

Program Cost                High

Cost/Revenue Relationship   Excellent

Goals/Plans                 Excellent

Programmatic Changes        Excellent

Evaluative Criteria             Rating                     Check      Performance Indicators

Program Rating                   Consider (reputation, % of terminal degreed faculty, innovative pedagogy, level of employer satisfaction, etc.)



Significant Concerns

Recommended Action Rating                                                         Check
Continue at current level of activity and resources

Continue at reduced level of activity and resources

Single out for further development as area of excellence

New programs to be developed

Change in emphasis, but at current level of activity and resources

Phased-out with reallocation of resources

Program Reviewers:




Clarke College Assessment Manual

                                   BOARD OF TRUSTEES

                             Program Review Summary Sheet

Program Name:        _____________________________________________

A. Program Review: (to be completed after program review)

   1. Program Strengths (one sentence for each strength)

   2. Program Weaknesses (one sentence for each weakness)

   3. Suggestions for Change and Future Work (one sentence for each suggestion)

   4. Reviewer’s Ratings:

   5. President’s Comments

B. Performance Indicators: (to be completed by Institutional Researcher)

   1. Student Credit Hours                       ________________________

   2. Percent of SCH                             ________________________

   3. Instructional Costs                        ________________________

   4. Percent of College Instructional Costs     ________________________

   5. Budget changes over 5 years                ________________________

   6. Cost per Student Credit Hours              ________________________

   7. FT Faculty & FTE Faculty                   ________________________

   8. SCH/FTE Faculty                            ________________________

   9. FTE Student/FTE Faculty                    ________________________

   10. Graduates over last 5 years (average)     ________________________

   11. Declared Majors                           ________________________

   12. Number & % Enrollment Change over
       last 5 years                              ________________________

   13. Number & % of Full Time Faculty with
       Terminal Degrees                          ________________________

   14. Number & % of Full Time Faculty
       Tenured                                   ________________________

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Department/Program Level Assessment Feedback Loop for Continuous Improvement

     Department/Program                                         Decisions/Recommendations are
     Decisions/Recommendations Made                             reviewed with the Board of Trustees.

   Recommendations are evaluated by
   President, VPAA, and Strategic                                     Decisions/Recommendatio
   Planning Committee.                                                ns communicated to faculty

                            Strategic Planning
                            Subcommittees Assess
                            Program Review Data.

                                                             Decisions/Recommendations are enacted
   Summary Data are reported in Program                      to improve student learning at course,
   Reviews and submitted to the VPAA.                        department, and program levels.

                                 Data are aggregated by the
                                 Institutional Researcher.

                                      Department/Program direct and
                                      indirect measures of outcomes
                                      are collected, reported and
                                      analyzed for a period of five      Assessment
                                      years.                             Conducted

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North Central Guidelines

       Among the public's many expectations of higher education, the most basic is that students will
       learn, and in particular that they will learn what they need to know to attain personal success and
       fulfill their public responsibilities in a global and diverse society. Student learning is central to all
       higher education organizations; therefore, these organizations define educational quality-one of
       their core purposes--by how well they achieve their declared mission relative to student learning.
       A focus on achieved student learning is critical not only to a higher education organization's
       ability to promote and improve curricular and co-curricular learning experiences and to provide
       evidence of the quality of educational experiences and programs, but also to fulfill the most basic
       public expectations and needs of higher education. . .. [T]he Commission asserts that assessment
       is more than a response to demands for accountability, more than a means for curricular
       improvement. Effective assessment is best understood as a strategy for understanding,
       confirming, and improving student learning.
                                                           -Draft for NCA Board Discussion, February, 2005

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association has identified five
fundamental questions that serve as prompts for conversations about student learning and the
role of assessment in affirming and improving that learning:

       1. How are stated student learning outcomes appropriate to your mission, programs, and
       2. What evidence do you have that students achieve your stated learning outcomes?
       3. In what ways do you analyze and use evidence of student learning?
       4. How do you ensure shared responsibility for assessment of student learning?
       5. How do you evaluate and improve the effectiveness of your efforts to assess and
              improve student learning?

In using these questions, an organization should ground its conversations in its distinct mission,
context, commitments, goals and intended outcomes for student learning.

The North Central Association Criterion Three: Student Learning and Effective Teaching
informs the framework of Clarke’s Institutional Assessment Plan for developing and sustaining a
culture of assessment.

Criterion Three states: The organization provides evidence of student learning and teaching
effectiveness that demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational mission.

As a strategy of inquiry, assessment of student learning should be built on principles of good
practice, as a participative and iterative process that:
        • Provides information regarding student learning,
        • Engages stakeholders in analyzing and using information on student learning to affirm
        and improve teaching and learning.
        • Produces evidence that confirms intended student learning and guides broader
        educational and organizational improvement.

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        Thus an organization assesses student learning in meaningful and useful ways to evaluate how it
        is achieving its mission and commitments and to act on the results in ways that advance student
        learning and improve educational and organizational quality. At its best, effective assessment of
        student learning is a matter of commitment, not a matter of compliance.
                                                        -Draft for NCA Board Discussion, February, 2005

6. Assessment fosters wider improvement when representatives from across the educational
community are involved. Student learning is a campus-wide responsibility, and assessment is a
way of enacting that responsibility. Thus, while assessment efforts may start small, the aim over
time is to involve people from across the educational community. Faculty play an especially
important role, but assessment's questions can't be fully addressed without participation by
student-affairs educators, librarians, administrators, and students. Assessment may also involve
individuals from beyond the campus (alumni/ae, trustees, employers) whose experience can
enrich the sense of appropriate aims and standards for learning. Thus understood, assessment is
not a task for small groups of experts but a collaborative activity; its aim is wider, better-
informed attention to student learning by all parties with a stake in its improvement.

7. Assessment makes a difference when it begins with issues of use and illuminates questions
that people really care about. Assessment recognizes the value of information in the process of
improvement. But to be useful, information must be connected to issues or questions that people
really care about. This implies assessment approaches that produce evidence that relevant parties
will find credible, suggestive, and applicable to decisions that need to be made. It means thinking
in advance about how the information will be used, and by whom. The point of assessment is not
to gather data and return "results"; it is a process that starts with the questions of decision-
makers, that involves them in the gathering and interpreting of data, and that informs and helps
guide continuous improvement.

8. Assessment is most likely to lead to improvement when it is part of a larger set of conditions
that promote change. Assessment alone changes little. Its greatest contribution comes on
campuses where the quality of teaching and learning is visibly valued and worked at. On such
campuses, the push to improve educational performance is a visible and primary goal of
leadership; improving the quality of undergraduate education is central to the institution's
planning, budgeting, and personnel decisions. On such campuses, information about learning
outcomes is seen as an integral part of decision making, and avidly sought.

9. Through assessment, educators meet responsibilities to students and to the public. There is a
compelling public stake in education. As educators, we have a responsibility to the public that
support or depend on us to provide information about the ways in which our students meet goals
and expectations. But that responsibility goes beyond the reporting of such information; our
deeper obligation -- to ourselves, our students, and society -- is to improve. Those to whom
educators are accountable have a corresponding obligation to support such attempts at

Authors: Alexander W. Astin; Trudy W. Banta; K. Patricia Cross; Elaine El-Khawas; Peter T. Ewell; Pat Hutchings;
Theodore J. Marchese; Kay M. McClenney; Marcia Mentkowski; Margaret A. Miller; E. Thomas Moran; Barbara
D. Wright,

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Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning (AAHE)

Nine Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning
1. The assessment of student learning begins with educational values. Assessment is not an end
in itself but a vehicle for educational improvement. Its effective practice, then, begins with and
enacts a vision of the kinds of learning we most value for students and strive to help them
achieve. Educational values should drive not only what we choose to assess but also how we do
so. Where questions about educational mission and values are skipped over, assessment threatens
to be an exercise in measuring what's easy, rather than a process of improving what we really
care about.

2. Assessment is most effective when it reflects an understanding of learning as
multidimensional, integrated, and revealed in performance over time. Learning is a complex
process. It entails not only what students know but what they can do with what they know; it
involves not only knowledge and abilities but values, attitudes, and habits of mind that affect
both academic success and performance beyond the classroom. Assessment should reflect these
understandings by employing a diverse array of methods, including those that call for actual
performance, using them over time so as to reveal change, growth, and increasing degrees of
integration. Such an approach aims for a more complete and accurate picture of learning, and
therefore firmer bases for improving our students' educational experience.

3. Assessment works best when the programs it seeks to improve have clear, explicitly stated
purposes. Assessment is a goal-oriented process. It entails comparing educational performance
with educational purposes and expectations -- those derived from the institution's mission, from
faculty intentions in program and course design, and from knowledge of students' own goals.
Where program purposes lack specificity or agreement, assessment as a process pushes a campus
toward clarity about where to aim and what standards to apply; assessment also prompts
attention to where and how program goals will be taught and learned. Clear, shared,
implementable goals are the cornerstone for assessment that is focused and useful.

4. Assessment requires attention to outcomes but also and equally to the experiences that lead to
those outcomes. Information about outcomes is of high importance; where students "end up"
matters greatly. But to improve outcomes, we need to know about student experience along the
way -- about the curricula, teaching, and kind of student effort that lead to particular outcomes.
Assessment can help us understand which students learn best under what conditions; with such
knowledge comes the capacity to improve the whole of their learning.

5. Assessment works best when it is ongoing not episodic. Assessment is a process whose power
is cumulative. Though isolated, "one-shot" assessment can be better than none, improvement is
best fostered when assessment entails a linked series of activities undertaken over time. This may
mean tracking the process of individual students, or of cohorts of students; it may mean
collecting the same examples of student performance or using the same instrument semester after
semester. The point is to monitor progress toward intended goals in a spirit of continuous
improvement. Along the way, the assessment process itself should be evaluated and refined in
light of emerging insights.

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Assessment Advice

1. Keep it as simple. Assessment is not, and should not be a full- time career. Keep goals
focused, and keep assessment efforts reasonable. For example, if every faculty member is
analyzing every paper written by every student to assess writing skills he/she is working too
hard. A random sample of student papers is sufficient for institutional program assessment.

2. Assessment is everyone's responsibility -treat it as such. Spread the workload around to
faculty/staff in your area, or even to multiple related areas. For example, all programs heavily
involved in the Core Curriculum might be best served by coordinating assessment efforts under
the guidance of the Core Curriculum Coordinator.

3. Assessment is necessary to make a case for budgetary issues. Assessment data can provide
evidence to make the case that you need a certain piece of equipment or an extra budget line to
effectively do your job.

4. Communicate effectively. Everyone needs to know when we're doing assessment and why
we're doing it. It is critical to make sure everyone pulls their weight- if they don't, critical data
are lost for that year making the whole process difficult and cumbersome.

5. Do not have knee-jerk reactions to data. Data naturally fluctuate, so wait for patterns of
evidence to emerge before implementing an action plan to fix a perceived problem. Suppose
95% of your students pass a state-mandated test this year, and the next year only 91% pass.
Should you panic? No. Performances vary based on many factors and fluctuations in data should
be expected. On the other hand, a drop from 95% to 42% should raise a few eyebrows and be
acted upon quickly.

6. Work within the constraints of the current system. One of the most common comments we see
as to why something is not being done in the area of assessment is that the current system is
faulty .The budget is inadequate, the faculty overworked, or the support staff stretched too thin.
All of these are usually legitimate complaints but unfortunately are not going to get you out of
doing assessment. Your job is to do quality assessment given the constraints currently in place,
so if you can't afford some national standardized test then use something However, do
communicate your concerns to your division chair so that he/she can bring them to the VP AA
for consideration.

7. Ask the Assessment Committee. If you have a problem or question, ask. The committee is
here to provide guidance to you

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Guide for Developing Department Assessment Plans

Each Department Assessment Plan is aligned to Department End of Year Summary Report
Questions (Annual Department Report). These questions define the essential components of the
Department Assessment Plan.

Component 1. (Q1)
Department Mission Statement connected to Clarke College Mission Statement.
Review department mission statement to ensure that connection to the Mission of Clarke College
is clearly stated.

Component 2. (Q2)
Department Mission Goals are aligned with Clarke College Mission Goals.
Check that goals flow from department mission and the Clarke College mission and goal

Component 3. (Q3)
Department Outcomes aligned with Clarke Outcomes.
Check Outcomes for alignment with Clarke Outcomes. Check that Assessment
Strategies/Activities/Tools reflect authentic measures of stated outcomes.

   •    An authentic measure is one that measures performance on tasks in a way that reveals
        precisely what a student knows or can do.
   •    Authentic assessments tell us if students can apply what they have learned to real-life

Component 4. (Q4)
Three-Year Cycle Timeline for collecting, assessing and reporting outcome data on departmental

       Does the three year cycle need to be updated?
       Consider whether or not all outcomes are addressed at least once during the program
        review cycle (5 years) to provide data for program review. Please refer to the department
        curriculum map.

Sample Chart: (Use this chart if it is helpful)
Five Year Outcomes Assessed Assessment Measures/Rubrics/Other Tools

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Questions 1 – 6 that follow the Three-Year Cycle Table on the End-of-Year Report –These
questions define additional components of the Department Assessment Plan:

Component 5. Outcomes Measured
Q1. Outcomes addressed in this academic year 2007 – 2008

Component 6. Assessment Question
Q2. Statement about what you want to know about student performance of this outcome.

Component 7. Data Collection
Q3.Statement about data collected to answer assessment question(s).

Component 8. Data Interpretation
Q4. Statement on analysis and interpretation of data results

Component 9. Action Plan(s)
Q5. Statement of actions taken to improve student performance as a result of data analysis

Component 10. Implementation Timeline
Q6. Timeline for implementation of actions stated in question 5- Where, When, How.

Comment on Feedback Loops at Department and Program Levels
       1. A feedback loop demonstrates how assessment results are communicated and how
           used for program improvement.
       2. Feedback from analysis of assessment data should lead to conclusions about program
           effectiveness. Documented results should relate back to intended outcomes.
       3. This, in turn leads to recommendations and plans to improve student learning at the
           course and department levels.
Additional Assessment Materials you might want to include as part of your plan:

   1.   Rubrics
   2.   Review Forms
   3.   End of Year Report Forms
   4.   Additional Types of Evaluation Forms

The following is information on Direct and Indirect Measurements you might find helpful:
Direct Measures of Student Learning-
"Direct Measurement": Forms of direct measurement provide clear evidence of student learning.
Measures directly stem from the learning outcomes identified for each major and include, for
example, content of knowledge tests and demonstrations of student skills acquired.
    the capstone experience clearly linked with identified learning outcomes is a very
       effective direct measure;
    portfolio assessment (with a clear set of objective standards of measurement across
       evaluators within a department);
    standardized tests;

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Clarke College Assessment Manual

      performance on national licensure, certification or professional exams;
      locally developed tests;
      essay questions blind scored by faculty across the department, school, or college;
      qualitative internal and external juried review of comprehensive senior projects;
      externally reviewed exhibitions and performances in the arts;
      external evaluation of performance during internships based on state program objectives.

Indirect Measures of Student Learning
"Indirect Measurement": Information that implies that students have achieved learning outcomes
but that cannot stand on their own as proof of student learning.
     alumni, employer, and student surveys;
     exit interviews of graduates and focus groups;
     graduate follow-up studies;
     retention and transfer studies;
     length of time to degree;
     SAT scores;
     graduation rates and transfer rates;
     job placement data;

Examples of Direct and Indirect measures are found at:

Definitions of Direct and Indirect Measures are found at:

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Course Level Assessment Feedback Loop for Continuous Improvement

  VPAA discusses assessment plans
                                                                  Department chairs share decisions with
  with department chairs and                                      department members.
  assessment director.
  Department Assessment Plans are sent to                             Action plan decisions are
  VPAA via End-of-year Summary                                        implemented.

                                Timelines are designed to
                                implement action plans.

  Based on data- informed                                   Action plan strategies and student learning
  decisions, action plans are                               outcomes are assessed during the following
  written to improve student                                academic year.

                                       Data are collected,
                                       reported and analyzed.

                                       Course learning outcomes aligned
                                       with department outcomes are           Assessment Conducted
                                       assessed each semester.

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Process Guide for Departmental Assessment of Outcomes

   1. Decide the outcome(s) you will assess in the academic year.

   2. Decide what you want to know about student performance of this outcome. Be specific.
      Sample questions are listed below:
          Are seniors/juniors/sophomores/freshmen performing at an appropriate level?
          Are we setting an appropriate level for our students?
          Are the assessment tools (rubrics, standardized tests, survey) effective in
             measuring the performance of the outcome?
          Are we offering our students enough opportunities to demonstrate this outcome?
          Are we designing artifacts that demonstrate performance that align with
             performance indicators?

   3. Decide what data you will collect to answer your question(s).
    Will the data be qualitative or quantitative?
    How will you collect this data?
    Will data from other years be used in data analysis?
   4. Decide how you will interpret the data.
       Will you be using this data to establish a baseline?
       Will you need assistance with a statistical analysis?
       Will you be comparing data to that collected from other years?
       Will you be targeting specific aspects of the outcome?

Describe Findings on the End of the Year Report:

   5. Interpret the data and state conclusions reached.

         Describe in detail results of data analysis.
         Include assessment tools, results, and any comparative data used as a basis for
           departmental decisions reached.
   6. Determine actions taken as a result of this process.

      Provide a rationale on how data analysis supports decisions made on programmatic
      Provide a timeline for implementation of actions.

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                                      FORM F. Syllabus Check List


These are required on all syllabi unless a statement is provided by the instructor (with portfolio materials)
about why an omission is warranted.

A) Information about Instructor
 _____ Name, title
 _____ Office Number and Hall                  Office Phone Number
 _____ Email address                           MS Number
 _____ Office Hours and/or other times when students may contact you.

Course Information
 _____ Course Department, Number, and Title as in catalog and credit hours
 _____ Current Semester and Year (e.g. SPRING 200X)
 _____ Meeting time(s) and place
 _____ Required texts including Title, Author(s), Edition, Publisher
 _____ Other required materials (art supplies, safety glasses, special calculators etc.)
 _____ Course description –brief
 _____ Connection to college mission
 _____ Course outcomes

 _____ Methods of assessment are clearly defined
 _____ Attendance and participation policy including any required special events
 _____ Policies on missed exams and late work.
 _____ Grading scale and standards

Schedule Information
 _____ Approximate dates of major assignments, papers, field trips, projects, etc.
 _____ Approximate dates of mid-term and/or other important tests
 _____ Disclaimer stating dates may change if applicable.
 _____ Date and time of final examination or other final assessment method.

Other statements
 _____ American with Disabilities Act                      Academic Honesty


 _____ Recommended supplemental course materials
 _____ Schedule of class meetings, including subject matter and topics to be covered as well as
 _____ pre-class readings and other assignments
 _____ Unique class procedures/structures, such as cooperative learning, peer review, panel
       presentations, portfolios, case studies, journals or learning logs, field trips, WebCT.
 _____ Special components: science and computer labs, tutorials, computer classroom, available
       instructional support services and others.
 _____ Safety/Health issues if applicable

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End-of-year Report Form Outline

Assessment of Program (Departmental) Outcomes

      1. State the outcome(s) you assessed in the academic year fall 07 and spring 08. (Refer
         to three-year assessment cycle.)

Example: Departmental outcome 1: …

      2. What specifically did you want to know about student performance of this outcome?

      3. What data did you collect to answer your question(s)? (Please include the following.)

      a. course name and catalog number;
      b. departmental rubric or other assessment tool;
      c. number and description of students assessed;
      d. description of data collected (for example, if you conduct interviews with students,
         include the questions along with the data);
      e. summary of the evidence collected.

      4. How did you interpret the data? State conclusions reached.

      5. What actions will be taken to improve student performance as a result of data
         analysis? (Provide specific details, e.g., redesign a course, rewrite outcomes, redesign

      6. Provide a timeline below for implementation of actions stated above. (Be specific as
             where (in what course);
             when ( in what semester);
             how (implementation process).

Assessment Plan for Academic Year fall 08 and spring 09.

7.         Complete the table below for fall 08 and spring 09:

     Semester           Departmental Outcome      Department Course(s)     Rubric/Other Tool
     Fall 08

     Spring 09

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End of year Report Form


Institutional Data

Clarke College Mission Statement
We are a Catholic coeducational liberal arts college founded in 1843 by the Sisters of Charity of
the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque, Iowa. Clarke educates students at the postsecondary level
in the liberal arts and sciences, the fine arts, selected professional programs, and graduate

We, the faculty, students, staff and administration are a caring, learning community committed to
excellence in education.

Clarke College Institutional Mission Goals
    Provide a caring and supportive learning environment
    Encourage personal and intellectual growth
    Promote global awareness and social responsibility
    Deepen spiritual values

Departmental Data

1. Insert departmental mission statement here.

2. Align departmental mission goals with the Clarke College mission goals.

Institutional Mission Goals                       Departmental Mission Goals
Provide a caring and supportive learning
Encourage personal and intellectual growth
Promote global awareness and social
Deepen spiritual values

3. Align departmental outcomes with the Clarke College outcomes. Include assessment
strategies, activities, and tools used to measure each learning outcome.

Clarke College Outcomes          Departmental Outcomes             Assessment
                                                                   (see list below)
Intellectual Rigor and

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Clarke College Outcomes       Departmental Outcomes           Assessment
                                                              (see list below)
Critical Analysis and
Informed Decision-Making
Spiritual Depth and Values
Aesthetic Sensitivity and
Cultural Appreciation
Active Community
Contemporary Professional
Skills in Field of Choice
Personal and Social
Acceptance of Diversity in
People and Ideas
Self-knowledge, Self-
confidence, and Self-

   Examples: Portfolios, Performance Tasks, Writing Samples, Comprehensive Exam (essay),
   Objective Comprehensive Exam, Licensure Exam, Standardized National Test, Supervised
   Internship, Thesis, Final Project

   4. Complete the Three-year cycle for collecting, assessing and reporting departmental
   outcomes data for the next three years: (use chart below)

Semester               Department             Department Rubric       Department Course
Academic Year
Fall 2006
Spring 2007
Academic Year
Fall 2007
Spring 2008
Academic Year
Fall 2008
Spring 2009

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Answer questions 1 – 6, if applicable, otherwise skip to question #11.

Assessment of Program (Departmental) Outcomes

   1. State the outcome(s) you assessed in the academic year fall 06 and spring 07. (Refer
      to three-year assessment cycle.) (See Sample Report)

   2. What specifically did you want to know about student performance of this outcome?

   3. What data did you collect to answer your question(s)? (Please include the

       f. course name and catalog number;
       g. departmental rubric or other assessment tool;
       h. number and description of students assessed;
       i. description of data collected (for example, if you conduct interviews with students,
          include the questions along with the data);
       j. summary of the evidence collected.

   4. How did you interpret the data? State conclusions reached.

   7. What actions will be taken to improve student performance as a result of data
      analysis? (Provide specific details, e.g., redesign a course, rewrite outcomes, and
      redesign rubrics.)

   8. Provide a timeline below for implementation of actions stated above. (Be specific as
          where (in what course);
          when ( in what semester);
          how (implementation process).

   7. If rubrics are utilized for departmental assessment, describe the process for
      determining reliability on scoring. (Please attach the rubrics used with this report).

   8. If you designed other methods for departmental program assessment, describe how
      standards and criteria for scoring student work were determined.

   9. Describe the process at the departmental level for sampling, collecting and scoring
      student work on student outcomes.

   10. Identify additional areas of development from other assessment results, e.g.
       observation, department personnel changes, etc.

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   11. Complete the table below: Assessment Plan for Academic Year fall 07 and spring

     Semester     Departmental Outcome Department Course(s) Rubric/Other Tool

     Fall 07

     Spring 08

   12. Please attach any additional information on department assessment that is not
      included in this report, e.g. a narrative about your assessment plans.


   13. List full time, part time and adjunct faculty in the table below:

Full Time Faculty               Part Time Faculty               Adjunct Faculty

   14. Complete the table below with Summary Averages from CIEQ data:

*Optional: include a rationale for either low or high scores in any of the areas listed below.

Dept.            Attitude       Methodology     Content         Interest        Instructor

   15. Based on faculty CIEQ data, classroom observation, goal setting, and evaluation, list
       the number of faculty recommended for professional development.
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Professional Development           Full Time/Part Time        Adjunct Faculty
Curriculum Design
General Computer Skills
Mentor Teacher
Office Suite Skills
Online/Hybrid Pedagogy
Professional Conference
Smart Classroom Technology
Teaching Circles
If no recommendations were made, please explain why:

   16. Provide a numbered list of departmental accomplishments of faculty, (e.g. number
       of recitals, exhibits, major lectures, etc.)

Name                                         Accomplishment

   17. Provide a numbered list of departmental accomplishments of students, (e.g. major
       presentations, recitals, art exhibits, etc.)

Name                                         Accomplishment

   18. If you conduct exit interviews with graduating students, please add information to
       the table below:

Question or Topic     Student Recommendation    Department Analysis Improvement Plan

   19. Please list any suggestions you might have for improving this report format. What
       was missed?

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Faculty Evaluations

For detailed information on faculty evaluations, see the Faculty Evaluation Manual in the
Academic Affairs section of the Clarke website:

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                                                        Chapter Three: Rubrics
General Education Rubrics

General Education Spirituality Outcome:
Students will demonstrate an understanding of spirituality as a way of living in relationship with self, others, society, the global
community, the planet, and God.
                                BVM Core Values Ground the College Mission and Express Our Catholic Identity
     FREEDOM – The gift that permits us to become our most faithful                    CHARITY – The gift of love! It is that simple and profound
     self. The gift that permits us to become who we are called to be at               power that calls forth a benevolent, tender and sensitive
     the deepest core of our being.                                                    response to all peoples and events.
     EDUCATION – The process of calling forth the gift and potential                   JUSTICE – The principle that assists us to recognize the
     of ourselves and others.                                                          dignity, equality and rights of all persons. It is the conviction
                                                                                       that calls us to be faithful to the demands of a relationship.
                                                1                            2                             3                               4
Life Questions, Beliefs and        Articulation of beliefs      Some apparent statement Generally clear                      Several beliefs/values
Values                             and values unclear/not       of beliefs and values but     articulation of beliefs        clearly named in a manner
Name and comment on your           evident; no connection to    no obvious connection         and values in                  related to one’s spirituality;
basic beliefs and values.          a sense of one’s             to one’s spirituality         connection with one’s          shows integration and
                                   spirituality                                               spirituality                   considerable reflection
Identify and examine                                            Reference to one or two
formative influences of these      Reference to formative       formative influences          Reference to multiple          Multiple formative
beliefs and values—i.e.            influences either lacking    present but not               formative influences           influences clearly
where they came from and           or skimpy                    developed                     present and articulated        articulated and integrated
what continues to shape                                                                       well                           with foundational beliefs
them.                                                                                                                        and values
   Examples of formative                                        Examination of
   influences:                     Little or no indication of   formative influences          Examination of
   life experience; family &       recognizing perennial        shows some recognition        formative influences           Examination of formative
   friends; education              questions or how they        of importance of              shows understanding of         influences shows insight
   (including Clarke);             relate to one’s beliefs &    perennial questions in        value of engaging              into the importance of
   religion; science &             values                       seeking truth and             perennial questions as         actively pursuing perennial
   technology; society &                                        meaning for oneself and       one seeks truth and            questions in search of
   culture.                                                     others                        meaning for oneself and God/Ultimate Reality;
                                                                                              others                         shows good grasp of a
Examine the connection                                                                                                       connection between
between perennial questions                                                                                                  engagement with these
& one’s basic beliefs &                                                                                                      questions and the quality of
values.                                                                                                                      human life for oneself &

Life Decisions                     Shows little or no           Shows some ability            Exhibits ability               Exhibits exceptional ability
Connect your basic beliefs         understanding of
and values and questions                                        (1) to recognize the          (1) to make clear, well        (1) to explore relationship
with your life choices as they     (1) the connection           connection between            thought out connections        between foundational
relate to self; others inter-      between foundational         foundational beliefs and      between beliefs/values         beliefs/values and how one
personally; society; global        beliefs and values and       values and life               and life decisions;            makes life decisions;
community;                         life decisions;              decisions;
planet/environment; God.                                                                      (2) to explore how             (2) to examine how one’s
                                   (2) how one’s choices        (2) to examine how            one’s choice relate to         choices are formative of
Life choices might include:        affect the person one        one’s choices affect the      the person one becomes         self and also affect others
interpersonal relationships;       becomes as well as the       person one becomes,           and simultaneous affect        and the wider world;
career and employment              wider world;                 others interpersonally,       others, including the
choices;                                                        and the wider world;          wider world;
service opportunities;                                                                                                       (3) to grasp nuances and
politics (civil …);                (3) an ethical dimension     (3) to consider an ethical    (3) to recognize ethical       complexities of ethical
life style;                        to life’s choices;           dimension of one’s            implications of personal       implications related to
religious commitments.                                          choices relative to others    decisions related to           social and global issues;
                                                                and the wider world;          social and global issues;
                                                                                                                             (4) to consider importance
                                   (4) the common good.         (4) to recognize matters      (4) to consider the            and consequences of acting
                                                                related to the common         importance of                  for the sake of the common
                                                                good.                         contributing to the            good.
                                                                                              common good.

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                                                   1                                      2                                  3                                     4
PURPOSE:                               Purpose is unclear or not            Purpose is somewhat                Purpose is clear generally           Purpose is clear throughout.
Why writer is writing: to               evident.                              apparent, but parts of the
summarize, define, analyze,                                                   writing detract from it.
create, synthesize, persuade,
argue, report, review, evaluate,
discuss, examine, reflect,
interpret, explain, entertain,
AUDIENCE:                              Writer shows little or no            Writer shows some                  Writer is aware of audience          Writer is aware of audience
For whom writer is writing (often       awareness of audience.                awareness of audience.              almost always.                        at all times.
teacher and peers, but                 Writer meets few or no               Writer meets some                  Writer meets expectations            Writer often exceeds
sometimes others). Writer strives       expectations for reader.              expectations created for            created for reader.                   expectations created for
to create and surpass                                                         reader.                                                                   reader.
expectations for reader.
CONTENT (FOCUS AND                      Writing is unfocused. Main          Writing is focused                 Writing is focused most of           Writing is strong and well
DEVELOPMENT):                           point is evident little or none       sometimes. Main point is            the time. Main point is               focused. Main point is
Is there a main point, a focus, a       of the time.                          evident sometimes.                  evident for the most part.            evident throughout.
controlling idea or thesis             Little or no support is              Support includes some              Support includes relevant            Support includes relevant
statement. Is it supported with         evident with frequent                 details with some repetition.       details with little repetition.       and highly developed
details? Support may include            repetition.                          Evidence of some revision.         Evidence of appropriate               details.
textual evidence, research,            Evidence of little or no                                                  revision.                            Evidence of substantial
reasons, stories, examples,             revision.                                                                                                       revision.
proofs, cases, analogies or
anecdotes. Is there evidence of

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Writing (cont.)

                                                        1                                  2                                  3                                   4
ORGANIZATION:                             Introduction is weak or            Introduction is present, but       Introduction is inviting.         Introduction is strong and
How do the components of the               unclear; may be                     undeveloped.                       Organizational patterns            inviting.
piece (introduction, body and              inappropriate.                     Organizational patterns are         reinforce purpose, main           Organizational patterns
conclusion) fit together? How do          Organizational patterns             suited to purpose, main idea        idea and development.              advance purpose, main idea
ideas in developing paragraphs             show little or no relation to       and development some of            Use of transitions unify           and development.
and sentences flow from main               purpose, main idea and              the time.                           writing most of the time.         Use of transitions contribute
point (focus), connect with                development.                       Writer attempts to use             Writing generally makes            to unified whole.
transitions, and remain coherent          Little or no use of                 transitions some of the time.       sense; rare lapses in             Writing is consistently
so that readers can follow                 transitions.                       Writing makes sense some            coherence.                         coherent.
easily? Patterns of organization          Writing is confusing and            of the time; frequent lapses       Conclusion is appropriate         Conclusion is strong,
might include                              incoherent.                         in coherence.                                                          thought provoking.
comparison/contrast, example              Conclusion is weak or              Conclusion is present, but
and illustration, analogy,                 unclear; may be                     underdeveloped.
cause/effect, definition, narration,       inappropriate.                  .
time order, order of importance.

STYLE:                                     Writing demonstrates little        Writing demonstrates some         Writing often demonstrates        Writing consistently
Considers word choice,                     or no variety in word choice        variety in word choice and          variety in word choice and         demonstrates variety in
appropriateness of vocabulary,             and sentence/paragraph              sentence/ paragraph                 sentence/paragraph                 word choice and
variety in sentence and                    structure.                          structure.                          structure.                         sentence/paragraph
paragraph structure,                      Writing reflects many lapses       Writing communicates, but          Writing is clear and usually       structure.
conciseness and level of                   in clarity and conciseness.         with some lapses in clarity         concise.                          Writing is consistently clear
formality.                                Level of formality is               and conciseness.                   Level of formality is              and concise.
                                           inappropriate to purpose           Level of formality is               appropriate to purpose.           Level of formality is well
                                           (use of jargon , slang or           somewhat appropriate to                                                suited to purpose.
                                           clichés).                           purpose.

CORRECTNESS:                              Writing demonstrates               Writing demonstrates some          Writing demonstrates              Writing demonstrates
Includes grammar, usage,                   consistent incorrect                grammar and usage flaws.            general correctness of             mastery of grammar and
capitalization, punctuation,               grammar and usage.                 Piece adheres to writing            grammar and usage.                 usage.
spelling, and proofreading.               Piece does not adhere to            conventions sometimes.             Piece generally adheres to        Piece consistently adheres
                                           writing conventions.                                                    writing conventions.               to writing conventions.

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                                                            1                                      2                                       3                                     4
TOPIC CHOICE                                  Topic and perspective are              Topic is somewhat traditional;        Topic is traditional; speaker         Topic is novel; speaker may
Considers audience and                         vague, uninspired, or                   speaker may present a                  may present a new or unusual           present a fresh or original
perspective. Choice of topic is                inappropriate                           repetitive or tedious                  perspective.                           perspective.
interesting, different, yet appropriate.                                               perspective.

INTRODUCTION/CONCLUSION                       Introduction is absent or              Introduction is vague and does        Introduction orients audience         Introduction carries impact and
How speaker engages audience in                inappropriate; audience is              not fully orient audience to           to topic and theme; audience           strongly engages audience;
both the beginning and end of                  unable to predict content.              topic and theme; only suggests         has a sense of what will follow.       points clearly to what will
presentation/performance.                     Conclusion is absent or                 what is to follow.                    Conclusion summarizes or               follow.
                                               inappropriate.                         Conclusion lacks focus and             restates main points.                 Conclusion is insightful thought
                                                                                       structure and leaves audience                                                 provoking.
                                                                                       with questions about speaker’s

CONTENT (FOCUS AND                            Supporting material is                 Supporting material is not            Supporting material is                Supporting material is well
DEVELOPMENT):                                  insufficient, irrelevant or even        adequate and may be                    sufficient, relevant, and              informed, insightful and
Is there a main point, a focus or              lacking.                                predictable.                           informed.                              original.
thesis statement? Is it supported             Development in any form is             Speaker uses only one method          Speaker uses two or three             Several methods of
with details? Support may include              ineffective, unfocused,                 of development.                        methods of development                 development are skillfully
textual evidence, research, reasons,           incomplete or absent.                  Speaker builds a weak or               skillfully.                            integrated.
stories, examples, proofs, cases,             Speaker fails to build a                unclear cumulative statement.         Speaker builds a strong               Speaker builds a compelling
analogies or anecdotes. Is there               cumulative statement.                                                          cumulative statement.                  cumulative statement.
evidence of revision? Does speaker
offer a cumulative statement?
ORGANIZATION                                  Organization is entirely lacking.      Speaker uses organizational           Organization is strong and            Organization is controlled yet
How do the components of the piece             Sequence of ideas is illogical;         patterns that may be ineffective       effective; ideas are logically         creative; departures from
(introduction, body and conclusion)            statements may be incoherent.           or illogical.                          presented.                             logical sequence are skillfully
fit together? How do ideas flow from          Transitions are vague,                 Transitions are occasionally          Transitions are clear, varied          handled.
main point (focus), connect with               inadequate or absent.                   vague, inadequate or absent,           and effective.                        Transitional devices are varied
transitions, and remain coherent so                                                    but at times are suitable.                                                    and well constructed.
that speakers can follow easily?
Patterns of organization might
include comparison/contrast,
example and illustration, analogy,
cause/effect, definition, narration,
time order, order of importance

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                                                             1                                         2                                           3                                           4
VOICE                                          Vocal skills may detract                Speaker’s vocal skills may impede          Speaker’s vocal skills assist              Speaker’s vocal skills advance
How articulation, volume, tone and pace         presentation; articulation is            presentation; articulation is unclear       presentation; articulation is               presentation; articulation is clear
convey energy, enthusiasm and interest.         imprecise.                               at times.                                   generally clear.                            and precise.
                                               Pronunciation errors distract           Pronunciation errors detract from          Pronunciation is generally                 Pronunciation is accurate.
                                                audience as speaker consistently         the overall quality of the                  accurate.                                  Voice clearly carries to entire
                                                slurs or mispronounces words.            performance.                               Voice carries to most of the                audience.
                                               Volume is inadequate; speaker           Voice carries to some of the                audience.                                  Speaker varies tone and pitch
                                                may mumble.                              audience members                           Speaker varies tone, pitch, and             effectively to convey engagement
                                               Tone, pitch, and pace vary rarely       Speaker varies tone, pitch, and             pace, conveying engagement with             and enthusiasm; varies pace
                                                or not at all.                           pace occasionally, conveying little         topic and audience.                         effectively.
                                                                                         engagement and enthusiasm.
BODY                                           Speaker is not at ease; poise is        Speaker is generally ill at ease,          Speaker is at ease in front of             Speaker conveys ease and self-
Attention to poise, posture, physical           visibly lacking.                         and may lose composure briefly on           audience.                                   confidence.
appearance, gestures and eye contact.          Appearance is inappropriate and          occasion.                                  Physical appearance is modest              Physical appearance is
                                                distracting.                            Physical appearance is somewhat             and appropriate to purpose and              professional, and suited to purpose
                                               Gestures are minimal or absent.          inappropriate to the situation and          setting.                                    and setting.
                                               Speaker establishes minimal or no        may be distracting.                        Gestures enhance the presentation          Gestures advance the
                                                eye contact with audience.              Gestures are forced or awkward.             and are frequent and varied.                presentation, and are frequent,
                                                                                       Speaker establishes minimal eye            Speaker establishes eye contact             varied, and meaningful.
                                                                                         contact or eye contact with only            with most of audience.                     Speaker sustains eye contact with
                                                                                         certain sections or members of                                                          entire audience.

GENERAL LANGUAGE SKILLS                        Speaker uses inappropriate or non-      Speaker uses functional                    Speaker uses appropriate                   Speaker uses powerful vocabulary,
Considers word choice, appropriateness          meaningful vocabulary;                   vocabulary; frequently disregards           vocabulary, complies with most              consistently complies with
of vocabulary, conciseness and level of         consistently disregards                  conventions of grammar and usage            grammatical and usage standards             grammatical and usage standards,
formality. Includes correctness of              conventions of grammar and usage         and uses some slang.                        and avoids slang.                           and avoids slang.
grammar and usage.                              and uses slang.                         “Filler” words/syllables are frequent      “Filler” words/syllables are present,      “Filler” words or syllables are rare
                                                “Filler” words/syllables are            and distracting.                            but used sparingly.                         or absent.
                                                habitual and distracting.
VISUAL SUPPORT                                 Visuals, props, and peripherals         Visuals, props, and peripherals            Visuals, props, and peripherals are        Visuals, props, peripherals are
Includes use of props, technological aids       may be absent. If present, they          may be present, but do not                  appropriate, aesthetically pleasing         creative, imaginative, meaningful,
and spatial design.                             are inappropriate or poorly              enhance the presentation because            and align with content.                     and aesthetically pleasing. They
                                                designed.                                of weak design.                            Speaker manages visual support              strongly align with the presentation.
                                               Speaker is incapable of managing        Speaker manages visual support              with a moderate degree of skill.           Speaker manages visual support
                                                the visual support chosen.               awkwardly.                                                                              effectively.

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        Clarke College Assessment Manual



                                                           Navigate among a set of URLs.
Use of web browser, email proficiency,      B) Pass        Search for and locate information on a specific topic.
web searching, evaluation of web                           Save page information locally, and bookmark pages.
sources, and creating web pa                               Read, send, reply, forward email.
                                                           Create simple web page.
                                                           Compress and decompress files and folders.
                                                           Understand need for virus protection.
                                                           Understand security issues.

                                            High Pass      Edit HTML documents.
                                                           Distinguish among various search engines.
                                                           Create a web site, with multiple links and attention to design and


                                                         Prepare a multiple page word document using appropriate
Creation of electronic text-based           C) Pass       formatting (see example at
documents (word processing); use of                      Create a slide presentation including both text and graphics.
databases, spreadsheets, and presentation                Choose software appropriate to the task.
software.                                                Adapt to hardware/software obstacles.

                                            High Pass    Prepare a readable, well-documented spreadsheet including use of
                                                          formulae, functions, and charts.
                                                         Build and use a database, including multiple fields and data types.

                                                                                                        January 2008
         Clarke College Assessment Manual

         Technology (cont)


                                                          1. Basic operating system skills
Facility with operating system(s),            D) Pass           Start and exit programs
hardware, and networks.                                         Start multiple programs and switch among them
                                                                Use list boxes and drop down menus
                                                                Format a diskette
                                                                Open and save files
                                                                Manage directories
                                                                Copy, delete, rename files
                                                                Understand file types and extensions
                                                                Manage memory
                                                                Install/uninstall software
                                                          2. Basic hardware knowledge
                                                                Knowledge of hardware terminology
                                                                Recognize pieces of hardware
                                                          3. Basic knowledge of networks
                                                                Local Area Networks
                                                                Firewalls
                                                                Modems
                                                          4. Set up a new computer.

                                              High Pass       Achieve pass level with more than one operating system
                                                              Add hardware to existing computer


Ethical use of internet, internet and email   E) Pass
etiquette, intellectual property issues and
plagiarism, health and safety issues.

                                              High Pass   

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      Clarke College Assessment Manual


                                                                  1                                       2                                         3                                           4
Purpose:                                        Purpose is missing or not evident.       Purpose is ambiguous or vague.           Purpose is evident.                        Purpose is evident and very clear.
 Is the purpose of the artifact clear and
     understandable? (E.g., exposition,
     argument, problem-solving, scientific
     investigation, evaluation/critique.)

Information:                                  Information is inaccurate.                  Information is partially accurate.        Information is mostly accurate.          Information is accurate.
Is the information:                                                                        Information is somewhat credible.         Information is mostly credible.
 Accurate?                                   Information is not-credible.                Sources are poorly documented.           Most sources are well-documented.         Information is credible.
 Credible?                                   Documentation is missing.                   There is not enough information or       There is enough information and it
                                                                                            the information lacks detail.             is sufficiently detailed.                 All sources are well-documented.
 Well-documented?                            There is little or no information to        Some of the information is               Most of the information is relevant.      The information is comprehensive.
 Enough (to support the purpose)?             support the purpose.                         relevant.
 Relevant?                                   Information is irrelevant.                                                                                                       All information is relevant.

Reasoning:                                    Reasoning is not sound.                  Reasoning is weak.                       Reasoning is sound.                        Reasoning is compelling.
 Is the reasoning sound?                     Ideas are unorganized.                   Organization is weak.                    Ideas are organized.                       Organization enhances reasoning.
 Are ideas well-organized?                   No other perspectives are considered.    There is limited consideration of        Alternative perspectives are               Alternative perspectives are
                                                                                         alternative perspectives.                 considered.                                 considered and enhance reasoning.
 Are alternative perspectives

Creativity:                                   There is no evidence of independent,     There is some evidence of                The thinking is independent,               The thinking is innovative.
 Is the thinking independent, insightful,     insightful or personal thinking.          independent, insightful or personal       insightful, or personalized.               The thinking reveals passionate and
     or personalized?                         There is no evidence of curiosity.        thinking                                 The thinking reveals curiosity.             keen intellectual and creative
 Does the thinking reveal curiosity?         Ideas fail to prompt further thought.    There is some evidence of curiosity.     Important questions or issues are           curiosity.
                                                                                        Ideas prompt some further thought.        raised.                                    The thinking is provocative.
 Does the thinking prompt further
     thought or reflection?

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Clarke College Assessment Manual

Department Rubrics

Rubrics for each department can be found in the resources section of each departmental listing
on the Clarke Website. Use the link below or follow this breadcrumb line from the Clarke
website homepage:
Faculty & Staff
       Academic Resources
               Assessment of Student Learning
                      Department Majors
                                     Sample Department Rubrics

Direct Link:

                                                                                   January 2008

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