Outcomes Assessment

Outcomes Assessment

"I firmly believe that without effective assessment one is piloting the ship blindfolded." —Dinko Počanić, Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Programs; Professor and Chair (2005-2010), Department of Physics, University of Virginia

The assessment process requires faculty to:

  • identify learning or program outcomes;
  • ensure that the course or program provides the learning experiences that make those outcomes possible;
  • collect and analyze data;
  • and interpret and apply the results to improve the course or program.

By providing high quality information on students’ learning and experiences, outcomes assessment offers the means to maintain, improve, promote, and showcase the student learning experience.

Beyond its inherent merits, outcomes assessment is a required activity of the university. Organizations that accredit the university (e.g., Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-Commission on Colleges), that accredit specific programs (e.g., engineering, nursing), and governmental agencies that monitor higher education (e.g., State Council of Higher Education for Virginia) require regular reports on assessments.

Institutional Research and Analytics' (IRA)’s goal is to support and conduct meaningful, useful, and feasible assessment to foster the University's unique learning and research environment.

To fulfill this goal, IRA:

  • Provides relevant training and feedback on assessment methods and measures

  • Designs practical methods of measurement and evaluation

  • Administers the University's general education and core competency assessments to help faculty and administrators improve student learning and development

  • Supports the development and implementation of program assessment plans that define, measure, and evaluate student learning goals and outcomes

  • Facilitates pertinent student survey results for use by academic programs

  • Facilitates required assessment reporting

IRA is available to consult with departments on their assessment needs and has additional background materials about the assessment process for use.  

For assistance please contact: