Assessment Results

Assessment Results

Outcome measures, once taken, must be analyzed and presented in report form. The way those results are reported may differ, however, depending upon which audience to whom a particular report is addressed. The following questions may be useful in working through the process of determining the best ways to synthesize and present program assessment information.

Thinking through the Process

  • how can data be best linked to program goals and outcomes?
  • how can the best balance of quantitative and qualitative data be presented?
  • can the data be presented in various ways suitable to differing audiences if necessary?
  • what do the data show about students' preparation for the next level in their programs or for their future career or as a transfer student?
  • are there areas where students are outstanding? are their areas where students consistently perform poorly? are there areas where students' performance is adequate but where a higher degree of performance would be particularly desirable?
  • are there general skills areas where students consistently reveal problems?
  • can you write pro and con statements regarding the successes and weaknesses of the program based on the data?
  • can you develop concrete recommendations for change based upon the data?

Presenting the Results

When preparing an assessment report, taking the time to answer the following questions prior to actually writing the report will make the end result better. It may prove beneficial to prepare a more comprehensive computer file of information from which particular sections can be extracted for specialized reports. Formal reports would typically include all of the supporting data while summary reports, such as the tabular report submitted to the Dean of Library and Academic Services, would simply present brief descriptions and conclusions.

  • who is the audience for the report? (possible audiences include: accrediting bodies, deans and administrators, academic committees, and outside funding agencies)
  • what do they want to know? Clearly the audience affects the nature and style of the information presented. A report intended for internal division review would be quite different from one directed to an external funding agencies.
  • what did you do/assess?
  • why did you do it?
  • what did you find?
  • how will you use it?
  • were problems with the assessment process revealed and how will your results affect the assessment process itself?
  • what was the most valuable thing learned?


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