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Home > About NOVA > Directories & Offices > Administrative Offices > Academic Assessment > Resources & Links > Sample Entries – Use of Results to Improve Student Learning

Using Results to Improve Student Learning

An extremely important component of the assessment cycle is the last step, often called “closing the loop.” To further help programs determine effective ways to use results from assessments to improve student learning, OIR has developed a set of example entries for various types of programs covering applied, transfer, and certificate programs. Most of these examples have been adapted (sometimes extensively) from materials found online. We have tried to include a variety of programs however, the programs themselves are not important. These entries are not meant to be examples for specific programs, but rather are for all programs to see how results can be used to improve student learning. The examples encompass a variety of ways to use results for continuous improvement, in addition to various assessment methods and levels of learning from Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Table 1 lists 17 examples of Annual Planning and Evaluation Report entries, including their assessment methods and categories for how results were used to improve student learning.

Table 1:

  Assessment Method(s) How Results Were Used to Improve Student Learning
Example 1
(Automotive Technology)
Performance Course Revision, Pedagogy  
Example 2 (Biology) Test Questions Course Revision
Example 3 (Biotechnology) Final Exam Prerequisites/Advising, Pedagogy, Course Revision
Example 4 (Business) Pre-/Post-Case Studies Course Revision, Academic Support
Example 5
(Child Development)
Observations Course Revision, Increased Target
Example 6
(Communication Design)
Project Course Revision
Example 7
(Criminal Justice)
Essays Course Revision, Advising
Example 8 (Emergency Medical Services) Lab Assignment, Test Questions, Surveys Course Revision, Academic Support, Pedagogy/Integrated Learning Technology, Co-Curricular Opportunities/Marketing Event
Example 9
(Geographic Information Systems)
Portfolio, Student Survey Academic Support, Course Revision, Co-Curricular Opportunities, Marketing
Example 10
(Interpreter Preparation)
Observations Assessment Methodology, Pedagogy, Prerequisites, Curricular Change
Example 11
(Music)
Performance Assessment, Curriculum, Professional Development
Example 12
(Pharmacy Technology)
Lab Assignment Assessment Methodology, Pedagogy
Example 13
(Psychology)
Project Pedagogy
Example 14
(Recreation, Parks, and Tourism)
Paper Assessment methodology, Academic Support, Pedagogy, Course Revision
Example 15
(Sociology)
Pre-/post-tests Course revision, Assessment methodology, Pedagogy
Example 16
(Veterinary Medicine)
Performance, employer survey
Performance, Employer Survey
Example 17
(Writing)
Short essay Assessment Methodology, Course Revision

For additional information, Table 2 (adapted from the University of Mississippi) provides major categories for how results can be used to improve student learning, with examples under each.

Table 2:

Major Category

Sub-Category

Description

Curriculum Specific

Curricular Change Curricular change to degree program: e.g. added a course or other requirement; changed sequence of courses, paradigm shift; change in program focus based on industry standards and evolving technology; change in time schedule (when classes are offered); program offers full degree program online or in hybrid format
Course Revision Revised existing course or courses; added or revised assignment, tests, readings, projects; modified assignment; modified course content, changed textbook; added or modified study guides, checklists, or other course handouts; revisiting course topics for greater comprehension
Pedagogy Revised methodology of delivering course material:  e.g. less lecture, more student involvement, more interactive or experiential activities; integrated learning technology (video, Blackboard), smaller class size, added or replaced some in person courses with online or hybrid courses (differs from offering entire degree program online); added peer learning methods
Prerequisites Changed entrance requirements to program: e.g. require completion of MTH 151 or ENG 111 before entering program; changed GPA requirement; requirement of computer competency test before program placed
Subject Matter Expert Feedback Sought recommendations from external stakeholders: e.g. employers, on-site clinical coordinator/supervisor, program advisory board, accreditation body, faculty clusters

Program Resources

Financial Requested additional fiscal resources; allocated funds from other budget area to focus on achieving SLO
Human Resources Provided faculty or adjuncts with development or training: e.g. faculty attend teaching workshops or conference to keep current with industry changes; hired new faculty
General Resources Utilized external partners as guest speakers or resources for students; physical resources: e.g. new software, computers, open lab time,  expansion of physical space

Co-Curricular Resources

Co-Curricular Opportunities Coordinated opportunities to engage in learning outside classroom: e.g. faculty and students interaction outside classroom; field trips; internships (if not a part of course) social gatherings, career fairs, speakers, study sessions¸ participation in professional or student organizations
Academic Support/
Advising
Connected students with peer tutors; referred to NOVA Academic Support Resources like Writing Center, Science Lab, Math Lab; referred student to see academic advisor, counselor; improved or increased faculty advising and guiding students on degree related topics

Assessment Process

Assessment Methodology Changed or added an aspect assessment methodology: e.g. modified assessment tool; changed data analysis method; added indirect measures; surveys, student self-assessment; identified need for continued assessment or monitoring  before taking action; refined or modified student learning outcome; increased or modified criteria for success (achievement  target), achievement target revised to be clearer or more specific; added systematic collection of stakeholder (employers, advisory board, etc.) feedback

College Level

Dual Enrollment Allowed students to take program courses during high school
Articulation Agreement Increased number of transferable credits to specific 4 year institutions; Agreement with 4 year institution to accept NOVA graduates
Recruitment/Marketing Efforts to increase access: e.g. outreach to high schools, non-traditional students, non-declared students