Course Level Assessment

What is Assessment of Key Learning Outcomes?

The assessment of key learning outcomes for our departments and programs is based in the content and goals of individual courses within departments and programs. The learning outcomes for courses are clearly described in course outlines and in the syllabus for every course. At NCC, the assessment of key learning outcomes includes three components: (1) discipline-specific learning outcomes assessment defined by Departmental Assessment Plans, (2) General Education learning outocmes assessment based on SUNY system-wide general education goals, and (3) The assessment of Institutional Learning Outcomes that are infused throughout our curriculum. Each course within a department or program has its own explicit student learning goals, learning outcomes that represent the achievement of those goals and measures that reliably assess the specified learning outcomes. While key learning outcomes are course-specific, they are closely aligned with the goals and learning outcomes of the overall program, department, and the institution.

Departmental Assessment Plans

Each department develops a unique, repeating 3-4 year Departmental Assessment Plan (DAP) which guides assessment activities. Plan designs encompass all of a department's key learning outcomes, including those identified as General Education learning outcomes. In the case of the latter,  faculty uses SUNY-designated learning goals and outcomes as the basis for designing assessments. For non-General Education courses, faculty identify appropriate learning goals and outcomes around which to build the assessments.  At the end of each academic year, departments are required to report on assessment activities and results, as well as evidence-based modifications in assessment implementation, pedagogy or other aspects of courses or programs that are designed to improve student outcomes.

What is General Education Learning Assessment?

General Education Learning Outcomes are key learning outcomes that are embedded in course and program/ department level assessment of student learning. Core disciplinary and global competencies are integrated into student learning assessment in the areas of

  1. Natural Sciences
  2. Social Sciences
  3. American History, Western Civilization and Other World Civilizations
  4. The Arts
  5. Critical Thinking
  6. Information Management
  7. Basic Communication (written and oral); and
  8. Aesthetic Literacy. For most of these, the assessment is framed by common SUNY system-wide general education learning goals. 

Want to learn more?

For an in-depth look at academic assessment procedures and resources, please refer to the "Concepts and Procedures for Academic Assessment" handbook, published by the Assessment Committee of the Academic Senate.