University of Redlands

Assessment Principles

1. Assessment work at the University of Redlands is motivated by a commitment to improve the institution's effectiveness in fostering student learning within the framework of our liberal arts mission.

2. Educational effectiveness results from multiple factors, such as the quality of courses, the coherence of academic programs, the integration of student life programs with student learning, the motivation, capacities, and preparation of learners, and the adequacy of administrative support for learning. Assessment findings will be used to improve student learning in all of these areas.

3. Faculty (tenure track and term contract) and student life professionals shall control the entire process of assessment of student learning in their own programs. The Educational Assessment Committee, in coordination with Academic Affairs, will set the general parameters and timetable for assessment.

4. While faculty and student life professionals control the assessment process, they are not responsible for maintaining, aggregating, and analyzing data across programs.

5. Assessment findings will not be used to evaluate individual faculty in the review process.

6. All programs are expected to develop and implement assessment plans. The purpose of program level assessment is to generate opportunities to improve the quality of the program and increase its educational effectiveness. Assessment data is not to be used to rank programs or compare their quality; rather, the function of assessment is improvement of educational effectiveness.

7. To the extent assessment findings are used in the allocation of resources, priority should be given to programs that have used the assessment process effectively to identify meaningful opportunities to improve student learning.

8. Programs must assess student learning through direct methods, however, because the learning outcomes and assessment approaches vary widely across disciplines, the methods used to directly assess student learning and the data collected need not be standardized across programs and schools.

9. Programs must follow the guidelines and criteria promulgated by the Assessment Committee when they report their data and assessment findings.

10. The university administration will provide resources to make assessment activities manageable within faculty workload expectations.

11. Programs should look for productive opportunities to involve students in assessment design.

Approved by the Faculty Assembly and endorsed by the Vice-President for Academic Affairs in 2009.