Course Assessment

The terms goals, learning outcomes, and objectives are used interchangeably. They represent what you expect students to know and be able to do once they complete the course.

- A good overview of course assessment at GW can be found in Course Assessment 101: A Primer for Faculty.

- The first and most important step is Writing Learning Outcomes for your course. Learning outcomes are formal statements that articulate what students will be able to do or know as a result of a course. Scholars have developed a number of ways to classify the language used in writing learning outcomes. The best known of these is Bloom’s Taxonomy which categorizes educational goals along a continuum of cognitive processes: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Depending on the course level and its role in the curriculum, course objectives or learning outcomes may focus on lower level skills or on higher level skills. If you are teaching a course that encompasses broader learning goals such as leadership or caring, another resource containing action verbs may be found at the University of Virginia's Teaching Resource Center.

- The following documents will be useful for assessing student learning in your classes:

* The AAC&U VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) Rubrics were developed by teams of faculty experts representing colleges and universities across the United States through a process that examined many existing campus rubrics and related documents for each learning outcome and incorporated additional feedback from faculty. The rubrics articulate fundamental criteria for each learning outcome, with performance descriptors demonstrating progressively more sophisticated levels of attainment. The rubrics are intended for institutional-level use in evaluating and discussing student learning, not for grading. 

* For your convenience, the Course Assessment Template aligns closely with fields in TaskStream, the online system the university uses to collect assessment reports.

* The Office of Assessment endeavors to provide meaningful feedback on your submission using the Course Assessment Feedback Rubric. The rubric provides clear indication of the type and level of information required by GW.


For questions about course assessment, contact Cheryl Beil at [email protected].