Assessment of Student Learning
A data-informed approach to improving teaching and learning.
At UC Santa Barbara, evidence of student learning is systematically assessed to guide continual improvements in teaching and learning. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the campus continues to offer its students an education of the highest quality and the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind they need to fulfill their aspirations and become thoughtful, engaged, resourceful members of society.
The full influence of an education is lifelong. But students, parents, faculty, and other stakeholders understandably want to be certain that the campus carefully examines student performance and the effectiveness of instruction over the shorter term and considers how it might achieve even better results.
The faculty determines what students should know and be able to do when they have competed a program of study. In each department, faculty members have articulated, discussed, and approved program learning outcomes for all programs at every level: General Education, undergraduate, and graduate. The Academic Senate has reviewed and certified these outcomes.
Each department analyzes how well its students achieve these goals and then makes changes designed to enhance the quality of the education it provides. The Council on Assessment and the Assessment Research Group offer expertise, information, data, and tools for conducting effective assessment studies. The campus funds Assessment Grants to support innovative, rigorous, sustainable investigations. Insights and breakthroughs, both local and national, are highlighted and discussed at assessment events. A department’s studies of student learning, and the curricular or pedagogical adjustments that result, are reviewed as part of Academic Program Review.