Liberal Arts Core

Assessment Definitions

“Assessment”: refers to the use of objective and subjective measures beyond regular course and program evaluation related activities to determine the extent to which a student, or group of students, has achieved a defined learning goal. Assessment serves to clarify student competence, proficiency, or mastery after completion of a course, collection of courses, or an entire program on both a short-term and long-term basis. Assessment in the classroom, a primary component of the strategy for the assessment of student learning, effectively promotes continuous improvement in learning by providing immediate feedback to faculty and students.

“Course embedded assessment”: refers to a method of assessment that uses existing or created assignments employed in a course to provide a direct measure of student learning in relation to the learning goals and objectives.

"Direct Measurement": Forms of direct measurement provide clear evidence of student learning. Measures directly stem from the learning outcomes identified for the LAC categories. Direct measures of student learning may include, though not limited to, the following: locally developed tests; essay questions blind scored by faculty; portfolios (with a clear set of objective standards of measurement across evaluators); student work blind scored by faculty; standardized tests; etc.

"Indirect Measurement": Information that implies that students have achieved learning outcomes, but that cannot stand on their own as proof of student learning. Indirect measures of student learning may include, though not limited to, the following: 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; graduation rates and transfer rates; job placement data; capstone course.

"Learning Outcomes": the most important knowledge skills and habits of mind that all students in the program should demonstrate.

"Liberal Arts Core": refers to the breadth component of UNI’s baccalaureate degree program. This component contains those courses designed to provide students with an understanding of the breadth of knowledge, fundamental principles and questions, and methods of inquiry in the basic categories: communication, humanities, social sciences, human well-being, multicultural and cross-cultural studies, natural sciences and mathematics.