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Assessment at Boise State University

Assessment of student learning is central to teaching and learning at multiple levels: the individual courses that faculty teach, the compendium of courses and experiences that comprise academic programs, the University Foundations Program that reflects the general education, and the complementary experiences that students have outside the classroom. Assessment is a recursive tool, the primary aim of which is the improvement of teaching and learning at these many levels.

Boise State University will assess student learning and experiences across the university, including University Learning Outcomes (ULOs), Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs), and outcomes of students’ co-curricular learning and experiences.

Key Principles of Assessment at Boise State University

 Assessment at Boise State is informed by several key principles.

  1. Assessment produces meaningful and actionable information to improve teaching and student learning.
  2. Assessment is a reflective practice that lives closest to the programs in which the learning occurs (i.e., it is a tool to be used by programs to understand student learning rather than an event/occurrence that happens to programs).
  3. Assessment-based change is favored by a collaborative, collegial process in which the community of educators engages with evidence of student learning.
  4. Assessment efforts are transparent and explicit rather than known only to insiders of the academic or general education program or to the individual faculty members teaching a given course or set of courses.
  5. Assessment reporting is frequent enough to ensure reasonable assurance of learning and continuous improvement yet not so frequent so as to detract from meaningful and action- oriented efforts.
  6. Assessment is a regular, ongoing effort rather than an episodic event designed solely to satisfy reporting or external regulators.

University Commitment

Assessment of student learning is part of Boise State’s commitment to learning, a component of our ongoing regional accreditation (NWCCU), and a component of our ongoing planning and continuous improvement processes. The Office of the Provost is responsible for the administration and management of assessment planning, processes, and reporting to meet all of these needs.