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Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning Use of Assessment

How Assessment Informs Program Decisions

In an effective assessment, programs regularly complete the assessment cycle by taking what was learned from assessment and using it to inform or influence program decisions. How assessment influences program decisions can take many different forms. Sometimes assessment informs major program decisions and sometimes the decisions are more minor. Below is a sampling of types of program decisions influenced by assessment.

Curriculum or Programmatic Structures

  • Investigate curriculum coherence, such as how well courses address the SLOs, course sequencing and adequacy, the effect of pre-requisites on learning achievement
  • Change the recommended course sequence. Adjust prerequisites for courses
  • Add or remove courses from core or electives
  • Change curriculum to improve student retention
  • Refocus curricula to reflect changes in the discipline or profession
  • Change the number of students in courses
  • Adjust course scheduling or frequency of course offering
  • Modify program requirements
  • Adjust curriculum map

Instruction or Specific Courses

  • Redesign core assignments
  • Include or exclude content from course based on curricular needs
  • Strategically reassign faculty to courses

Goals, Outcomes or Alignment

  • Refine program learning outcomes
  • Better align program, department, college and institutional goals
  • Increase communication about outcomes to students and faculty

Assessment systems and processes

  • Refine measures
  • Design new measures
  • Include new stakeholders or involve stakeholders in a new way
  • Improve assessment logistics
  • Develop or improve assessment archives
  • Improve faculty communication about assessment

Faculty or TA professional development

  • Arrange professional development for teaching
  • Arrange professional development for assessment of learning
  • Train for use of assessment measures


  • Redesign of classroom space
  • Redesign of lab or studio space
  • Increase capabilities of classroom space
  • Reorganization of faculty or graduate student office space


  • Make recommendations to advisors about what to tell students
  • Make changes to the structure of advising

Changes to co-curricular aspects of students’ experience

  • Reorganize or improve student support systems, such as advising, library services, and student development initiatives to improve the academic success of students in the program

Changes to the policies, funding, and planning that support learning

  • Shape department or program policies
  • Inform changes about how resources are used in department
  • Reorganize or refocus resources to advance student learning or specific research agendas
  • Adjust allocation of faculty resources
  • Make recommendations for resource allocation outside the department