While there has been great interest and progress in terms of defining core learning outcomes related to the completion of various postsecondary programs, there has been far less progress in terms of elucidating powerful ways to assess these outcomes. Without clear assessment methods it is difficult to see how one could perform course or program redesign with these learning objectives in mind.
To date, attempts to address this “assessment of learning outcomes” gap have focused mostly on the use of qualitative tools that are given to students as they leave some institution or program, tools like the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) questionnaire or the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) index. But these tools rely on subjective report, are often difficult to administer repeatedly at scale, and typically only provide an “after education” snapshot of learning. This report highlights and validates a different assignment- based approach that has much greater potential to provide quantitative data with much higher resolution.