Examples of indirect assessment
Example 1: Survey of current students or alumni
The list of questions below is an excerpt from an exit survey created for the Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology (BPK) undergraduate program by Victoria Claydon and her team as part of a project supported by a Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG) from SFU’s Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines (ISTLD) in 2014 (see the overview and report). Since the questions address broad, general goals, some of them may be suitable for other departments as they are, and others could be adapted.
1. How much has your experience with the department of BPK contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following areas?
|Very much||Quite a bit||Some||Very little||Not at all|
|Writing clearly and effectively|
|Speaking clearly and effectively|
|Thinking critically and analytically|
|Analyzing numerical and statistical information|
|Acquiring job‐ or work‐related knowledge and skills|
|Working effectively with others|
|Developing or clarifying a personal code of values|
|Understanding people of other backgrounds (economic, racial/ethnic, political, religious, nationality, etc.)|
|Solving complex real‐world problems|
|Being an informed and active citizen|
2. During your undergraduate degree, about how often have you done the following?
|Combined ideas from different courses when completing assignments|
|Connected your learning to societal problems or issues|
|Included diverse perspectives (political, religious, racial/ethnic, gender, etc.) in course discussions or assignments|
|Examined the strengths and weaknesses of your own views on a topic or issue|
|Tried to better understand someone else’s views by imagining how an issue looks from his or her perspective|
|Learned something that changed the way you understand an issue or concept|
|Connected ideas from your courses to your prior experiences and knowledge|
|Reached conclusions based on your own analysis of numerical information (numbers, graphs, statistics, etc.)|
|Used numerical information to examine a real‐world problem or medical, performance, or human performance issue|
|Evaluated what others have concluded from numerical information in published research articles|
|Identified key information from reading assignments|
|Reviewed your notes within 24 hours after class|
|Summarized what you learned in class or from course materials|
Example 2: Exit survey
The University of Wisconsin River Falls provides an extensive list of academic assessment plans and reports for its programs. Examples of specifically designed student exit survey questions can be found, for example, on pages 21–24 of the English BS/BA Program Assessment plan.
Example 3: Enrolment, retention and student satisfaction/Engagement data
Institutional Research and Planning (IRP) at SFU presents its Undergraduate Student Survey (UGSS) and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) annually. Several of the survey questions refer to student experience, “high-impact practices” or “perceived gains” and can contribute to the indirect assessment of your program level goals. You may wish to request specific UGSS or NSSE data for your department from IRP, or ask them to conduct a survey for you.