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Learning Outcomes and Assessment | News

New Report on Trends in Assessment of Student Learning

The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) has issued reports on trends in learning outcomes and assessment in higher education, including trends in General Education.

Ideas for Faculty Discussions on Assessment

Wondering how to make the best use of your assessments? A recent Washington State University article describes some interesting ideas for how to structure a faculty meeting to discuss assessment. If you use it, or have suggestions yourself, please let the Senate Committee on Learning Assessment know. We'd love to share your ideas! (

Assessment Resources for Political Science

The October 2014 issue of P.S. contains two articles on assessment that may be of interest to the AU community. Check them out!

"Scientific Literacy in Undergraduate Political Science Education: The Current State of Affairs, an Agenda for Action, and Proposed Fundamental Benchmarks" by Kim Quaile Hill and Rebekah Myers

"Is It Better to Be Feared Than Loved? Investigating the Efficacy of Different Teaching Methods on the Learning of Specific Content" by Robert P. Amyot

Feedback on Fall 2015 Assessment Reports Ready

Thanks to everyone who submitted program assessment reports in October. The Senate Committee on Learning Assessment has reviewed reports and has posted feedback in the documents section of TracDat. If your feedback is not posted please contact Karen Froslid Jones (


A February 2014 article in Assessment Update by Gary R. Pike, Professor of Education at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, explores the issue of accountability and the push by some for standardized tests. He discusses the advantages of using AAC&U “VALUE” rubrics. Many of the rubrics that are available may be useful to those assessing courses and programs. You can learn about the rubrics here.

Please contact Karen Froslid Jones ( for a copy of the article or if you need assistance with developing or using rubrics.


On March 6, 2014, the American University Faculty Senate passed a resolution approving updated institution learning outcomes. The idea of providing new institution learning outcomes was presented by Provost Bass in his April 2013 address to faculty. The Middle States Self-Study includes a recommendation to update AU’s institution learning outcomes. In January, the Ann Ferren Conference Plenary Session devoted time to reviewing the draft learning outcomes and the Senate Committee on Learning Assessment (COLA) offered a public comment period on the outcomes using a blog to gather feedback. The new outcomes provide the university with a way to better articulate what AU undergraduates take away as a result of graduating from the university. You can access the revised outcomes here.

The outcomes will be posted more widely soon. What’s next? COLA will propose a schedule for assessing the new outcomes and the Faculty Senate will review the outcomes again next year.

Upcoming Workshops

Interested in upcoming assessment workshops? Learn more at the Workshops page.