SES Course Assessment Procedures

Course Assessment Procedure
Program Outcomes Procedure
  1. Select Course Outcomes for assessment. Up to five Course Outcomes should be selected for this purpose. Not all Course Outcomes need to be assessed.
  2. Select student work to be assessed. One piece of student work (a homework, an individual quiz problem, a paper, etc.) should be used to assess each course outcome.
  3. Collect the grades for the student work on your list for each student in the program. (I.e., leave out graduate students and students from other programs.)

    Steps 1 to 3 should be performed at the beginning of and during the semester. The following steps should be completed after the semester ends.
  4. Convert the grades to a zero-to-four scale (A = 4.0) if not already in that form.
  5. Compute summary statistics for the grades, choosing from one of the following groups (A spreadsheet is available to assist in steps 4 and 5.):

    a:25th PercentileMedian75th Percentile
    c:--Percent passed--
    d:Other (defined by instructor).  

    The "low" grade statistic should be used to determine if the course outcome is met. This value is intended to represent a value exceeded by a significant majority of the students, as opposed to using measures such as the mean or median which are measures of performance that about half of the students may not meet.

    An Excel spreadsheet - Student Statistics Calculator.xls - is available to assist in steps 4 and 5. See Student Statistics Calculator.

  6. Compile the results on the online SPAD at You could also use one row for the summary statistics for the overall course grade for the students in the program, whether or not the overall grade corresponds to a single outcome. Use additional forms if necessary.
  7. Analyze the results: Using the following sources of information:
    • (a) the Student Performance Assessment Data Form
    • (b) the results of the Attitudinal Survey
    • (c) your own observations and anecdotal information
  8. Analyze the success the students had in achieving the course outcomes. Plan improvements to your course and to fill out the questions on the Instructor Course Assessment (ICA) form.
  9. Provide the Program Director with a copy of the assessment forms. The next time you offer the course you should implement the changes you propose, and repeat the assessment process.
Development of Course Outcomes

Each course will have a list of outcomes developed by the instructor in consultation with the Program Committee.

A Course Outcome is an ability or skill that each student is expected to develop by taking the course. Outcomes must have several characteristics:

  1. The Course Outcome should be worded with action verbs. Good examples of action verbs can be taken from descriptions of Bloom's taxonomy. For example, see: or
  2. A student's achievement of the Course Outcome will be evaluated by some testing instrument in the course, such as a homework or quiz problem.
  3. Each Course Outcome should correspond to one of the Program Outcomes.

Each course instructor should prepare a list of Course Outcomes. Each one should be referenced to one of the Program Outcomes. Finally, an evaluation tool (homework, quiz problem, or other piece of student work) will be named for each Course Outcome.

The instructor should then submit the Course Outcomes to the Program Director. The Program Committee will then examine them to determine whether:

  1. The Course Outcomes satisfy the expectations of the Program Committee for that course.
  2. Each of the Program Outcomes are represented at several different levels in the curriculum.
  3. The Course Outcomes for all the courses taken together cover the knowledge set that the Program Committee expects. That is, they should verify that there are no significant gaps in the curriculum.

The instructor may need to modify the Course Outcomes to satisfy these requirements.