Student Learning Assessment
Assessment is the continuous process of collecting, analyzing, and utilizing data to understand and improve student learning. Assessment serves as a tool for educators to improve curriculum and instruction and it ensures consistent learning expectations apply to all programs, courses, general education, and co-curricular areas of the College. It is also a critical component of Institutional Effectiveness, and a requirement of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and other accrediting bodies. Finally, assessment demonstrates OCC’s high academic standards to students, transfer institutions, employers, and other stakeholders.
At OCC there are Institutional Learning Outcomes, General Education Outcomes, Program Outcomes, Common Course Outcomes (including co-curricular outcomes) that are connected to course lessons/objectives.
Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) represent educational values of the College and describe knowledge, skills, and abilities that all OCC graduates should develop through their overall experience at the College. Each OCC graduate should be exposed to curricular and/or co-curricular learning opportunities associated with all ILOs.
General Education Outcomes (GEOs) support the foundation of the ILOs and describe knowledge, skills, and abilities that OCC students should develop after completing general education coursework. There can be considerable overlap between ILOs and GEOs; however, unlike ILOs, students will encounter at least one GEO dimension in each course but may not be exposed to learning opportunities associated with all GEOs.
Program Outcomesdescribe knowledge, skills, and abilities that OCC students should develop after completing a particular program. Program outcomes are often cumulative outcomes that reflect student learning achieved across multiple courses within a program.
Common Course Outcomes (CCOs)describe knowledge, skills, and abilities that OCC students should develop after completing a particular course. At least one CCO in each course is mapped to a GEO.
Course/Lesson Objectives describe concepts or topics taught in a particular course or lesson. Data on student learning of course/lesson objectives is collected at the faculty level and are intended to support and map to the hierarchy of learning outcomes above.
Student Learning Assessment follows a continues quality improvement cycle. As such, faculty develop assessment plans to measure student learning on developed outcomes. Plans for each outcome include a specific benchmark (learning target), assessment method (rubrics, exams, papers, activities, etc.), and an assessment frequency. After assessment plans are complete, faculty and administration manage student learning assessment data through the Assessment Results Tracking Information System (ARTIS). When student learning falls below the learning target action plans to improve curriculum, pedagogy or the assessment plan are developed and then tracked to be sure the action is effective in increasing student learning.