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Mission of Institutional Assessment

The mission of assessment and student learning at Cedarville University is to encourage and promote a culture of assessment for the entire learning community. This will be done by: providing information and technical expertise to facilitate continuous improvement of student learning; developing and disseminating best practices, and maintaining a systematic and systemic collection of student learning assessment data used to engage the campus community in reflection and action on continuous program improvement.


  • Coordinate and support annual cycle of assessment of programs, University Portrait Statements, and general education
  • Conduct surveys of various constituencies
  • Departmental and program planning
  • Regular reporting of findings to appropriate administrative and faculty committees
  • Sharing findings with students and other stakeholders

Assessment Process

Creating a culture of assessment fuels continuous improvement which benefits the University and students alike.  There are many reasons to engage in student learning outcomes assessment. A few of the more important are:

  • Assessment provides input for the improvement of student learning;
  • Assessment helps faculty be more intentional in how they teach;
  • Assessment provides assurance to the University’s stakeholders that we …
    • … know what we are doing and
    • … we are good at what we do.

At the beginning of each academic year, every school and academic department at Cedarville University prepares an assessment plan for each major program housed within the unit.  Ideally every student learning outcome is evaluated by two assessment measures: an entry level assignment and an upper level assignment. The results are analyzed and reported in an assessment report at the end of each academic year.  These reports are submitted to the Office of Assessment and Accreditation Services via the J:\ drive under Assessment Shared\201X-1X Assessment\{Your School or Department folder}.

The assessment report contains an analysis of the data with noted differences between entry and upper level student achievement, identifying areas that fall below given benchmarks and those that reach or exceed them.  The report closes the feedback loop by suggesting ways in which the program can make improvements based on the analysis of these data. The goal is to improve student success and to assure the adequate academic support for retention, persistence, and completion. Faculty work together to use the assessment plans and reports to improve the quality of the program. 

Steps in the Assessment Process:

  1. Make sure Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) are SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE
  • SLOs should be written in terms of what the student will learn, not in terms of what the instructor will accomplish.  (i.e. “Student will be able to…”)
  • It is preferable to use direct measures; however, indirect measures may also be used.
    • Direct (exam, paper, case study, etc.)
    • Indirect (survey, student evaluations, etc.)
    • Measures should directly align with the student learning outcome.
    • These rubrics assess Portrait Statements 2 and 3 by capturing data from a course that occurs early in a student’s experience and then at the end of the student’s experience in a senior level or capstone course in your major program
    • Early assessment will take place in BEGE-1720 Spiritual Formation (CT), COM-1100 Fundamentals of Speech (S), and ENG-1400 Composition (W), using the L3 rubrics
    • Assessment coordinators should choose an assignment occurring late in the student’s program to assess CRITICAL THINKING, SPEAKING and WRITING, using those same L3 rubrics.
    • 2014-15 assessment results analysis and feedback reports were due on Assessment Day, September 22, 2015
    • 2015-16 assessment plans were also due on Assessment Day,  September 22, 2015
    • Use the Assessment Capture Tool (ACT) located under CedarInfo, Curricular Transactions to capture L3 Rubric data
    • Please contact the Office of Assessment and Accreditation Services for assistance during the year
    • During this assessment cycle, we would like to have your 2015-16 results and your 2016-17 plans by May 31, 2016 due to HLC visit in October 2016
  1. Decide which COURSES best represent student learning for each outcome
  2. Decide which ASSIGNMENTS best measure each outcome
  3. Decide where to embed L3 RUBRICS for assessing Critical Thinking (CT), Speaking (S) and Writing (W) into your Plan
  4. Create or use existing RUBRICS or other measurement to assess the identified assignments
  5. Complete the PLAN for assessment based on those courses and assignments
  6. SUBMIT completed plans and reports to the Office of Assessment and Accreditation by placing it in J:\Assessment_Shared\201X-1X Assessment\{Your School or Department folder}
  7. IMPLEMENT 2015-16 plan for assessment
  8. Compile DATA and ANALYZE  
  9. Make evidence-based CHANGES to course or program as appropriate.