Module Eleven: Use of Results
The final step—and the most important – is to indicate the use of your results to enhance student learning.
Determine Student Learning OutcomesThe most important part of the assessment cycle is “closing the loop”– using the results of your assessment to enhance student learning. Use of results describes specific actions (planned or taken) to improve student learning so you want to be thorough and specific in describing changes to improve student performance. What are the steps you will take for quality enhancement? What are your continuing efforts to enhance student learning?

Meet with your faculty to review the results and determine how the program will use the results. Will the findings affect budget requests, staffing, curriculum changes, new courses, new faculty, or new methods of assessment?

At the University of Houston-Clear Lake, faculty are encouraged to provide a narrative that reflects the discussion of the faculty, provides adequate analysis of the data, and indicates the ways faculty will use the results. Did students miss, meet, or exceed standards? Based on the results, they are asked to consider further decisions.

  • To continue with current practices
  • To expand upon projects that are succeeding exceptionally well
  • To improve the program based on data that indicates a need
  • To continue to assess to gather more information before changes are defined
  • To change the mission, objectives, or outcomes for the program.
In UCLA’s “Guidelines for Developing and Assessing Student Learning Outcomes for Undergraduate Majors,” Jennifer Lindholm outlines a four-step process for reviewing student work and closing the loop:
Step One
Reflect on how assessment findings may inform pedagogical practice and/or curricular planning.

An important part of this process involves engaging faculty colleagues and, as applicable, students and/or other educational partners in discussing the results before final interpretations are formed.

  • What are the most valuable insights gained from the assessment results?
  • What are the most important conclusions about the results?
  • What strengths (and weaknesses) in student learning do the results indicate?
  • What implications are there for enhancing teaching and learning?
Step Two
Determine the effectiveness and limitations of the assessment process.
  • Did the process define, as well as answer, questions that are important to understanding and enhancing student learning? If not, why?
  • Were faculty and students motivated to participate in the assessment process? If not, why?
  • Were the assessment methods easily implemented? If not, what improvements could be made?
  • In what ways was the assessment process especially effective?
  • What should (or will) change about the process? Why?
Step three
Communicate findings and associated implications with those who are involved with the program.
step four
Incorporate discussion of assessment process and findings within program review.
Previous Overview Next