Student learning outcomes describe the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that students should attain through an academic experience (course, program, or degree). Assessment of student learning outcomes involves the systematic gathering of information for the purpose of determining what students are actually attaining and, critically, the use of that information to improve student learning.
Students are the primary beneficiaries of learning outcomes assessment. However, assessing learning outcomes can also help faculty seeking to add to or improve curricular offerings. Assessment data can also help academic programs more clearly demonstrate to institutional and external audiences the strengths of the program and the success of the students.
Faculty members are the primary decision-makers in the assessment process. The assessment of outcomes for each educational program at The University of Georgia is the responsibility of the faculty who:
- Define clear learning outcomes for students in the program;
- Identify and implement measures that assess whether their students attain those outcomes;
- Analyze the data gathered through the assessment measures for information relevant to the program; and
- Use that resulting information as the basis for improvements in the program.