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Assessing Learning at Jefferson College 

Jefferson College Assessment Plan
The Jefferson College Assessment Plan describes the assessment philosophy and goals of Jefferson College. Assessment at the course, program, and institutional levels is described.  

Institutional Assessment
Programs are reviewed every 5 years, as indicated in the Institutional Assessment Plan.  The Institutional Assessment Process reviews at the program level. Completed reviews are accessible via the College Reports tab in MyJeffco.  

Collaboration with Missouri Institutions
Learn about the work of the Learning Assessment in Missouri Postsecondary Education (LAMP) committee and subcommittees by exploring the LAMP website

Assessment Update
Please read the Assessment Update, published twice a year, for more information about assessment efforts at Jefferson College.

Assessment Update (Spring 2015)

Action Research
One way to show that our students are learning is by beginning with a question. For example, we may wonder, “Why are students taking so few notes?”  Or, we might ask, “Are students learning anything from the information and activities we place on the Blackboard Course Page?” We can start by identifying any question or problem of interest to us. In the process of systematically investigating our own questions about our teaching and our students’ learning we can show that students are learning.  And we improve our teaching and increase student learning in the process. This process is called Action Research.

Basic Steps of Action Research
1. Start by identifying a problem of interest to you
2. Review the literature to see how the problem has been addressed by others
3. Modify what you do
4. Measure student outcomes to see if your changes have impacted student learning
5. Share your findings with colleagues

Multi-Section Assessment Efforts
Faculty at Jefferson College are starting to formally assess courses that have multiple sections taught by multiple instructors. They are taking a look at the extent to which students across all sections of a course are achieving expected learning outcomes, and then using the information to improve the course so that student learning increases. Projects are underway for the following courses: CIS 133, MTH 134, ENG 101, and BIO 101. 

Closing the Loop
Effective instructors routinely check to see if students understand course content and make changes to instruction based on what they find out. Instructors are encouraged to ask themselves the following three questions: (1) What assessment strategy did I use to determine what students know and are able to do? (2) What did the assessment strategy reveal about student learning?  (3) What changes did I make to subsequent class sessions to increase student learning? To browse a sampling of Jefferson College's faculty members' documentation of class level assessment efforts, go to the Faculty tab in STARS and click on "Class Course Assessment Browse." You can browse by subject or instructor name.  Assessment documentation is in the form of a Student Outcomes Log or narrative report.

The Record of Assessment is a checklist that can be used to track assessment in a course throughout the semester.  Periodically, note an assessment strategy used in a course, the expected learning outcome(s) addressed, the result(s), and changes you may make to instruction.  

To learn more about frequently used assessment terms, consider browsing the CTL Glossary of Assessment Terms. The books consulted in the development of the glossary are housed in the CTL and are available for checkout. 

Creating Expected Learning Outcomes and Corresponding Assessments
Are you working on revising official course syllabi to be in alignment with the new format approved by the Academic Affairs Committee? You may find these guidelines and examples helpful.

Consider using Bloom's Taxonomy when creating expected learning outcomes. Specifically, consider using verbs from a variety of categories.

Current best practices for assessment in higher education are provided in the PowerPoint, Designing and Assessing Learning. Additionally, a rationale for using best practices, including increased student learning and meeting external demands of accountability, is presented. 

Assessing Learning with Student Response Systems 
Have you considered using clickers to assess students' comprehension of course content? Clickers are a good tool for large lecture classes because the instructor is able to quickly determine the degree to which students comprehend course content and then adjust the lecture as needed. Learn more about teaching with student response systems (clickers). 

High Impact Educational Experiences
Faculty reporting of High Impact Educational Experiences (HIEE) begins with the posting of Spring 2010 semester grades. To report HIEE, please follow the directions on the Faculty tab of MyJeffco.


Common Core State Standards
The state of Missouri, along with over thirty other states, has adopted Common Core State Standards. The standards are the result of a state-led effort to ensure high school graduates are prepared for college or work. The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers are collaborating to define the knowledge and skills students should acquire during their K-12 education so that upon graduation they are able to succeed in entry-level college credit courses and in workforce training programs. Teachers, school administrators, and other experts are involved in developing the standards. English-language arts and mathematics standards have been completed and standards for other disciplines are in the process of being developed. To learn more consider reading the answers to frequently asked questions about Common Core State Standards.

Classroom Assessment Techniques

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) are exercises used to help you assess student understanding.  Most are quick and easy, and provide information that can be used to determine which areas students need help on and which teaching methods are most effective.  These techniques are most effective when used frequently.

Here are links to some CATs you might consider using:

What are Classroom Assessment techniques, and why should I use them?

Using Classroom Assessment Techniques

50 CATS by Angelo and Cross

Informal Assessment Strategies for the Math Classroom


If you have additional techniques to share, email them to