Examining Student Learning and Success

Departments use outcomes assessment to identify the learning that occurs as students integrate knowledge and skills across courses and over time through their experiences in the major. Lessons learned from outcomes assessment can:

  • Give departments information about the effects of their programs, which provides a basis for ongoing decisions about curriculum, teaching, and learning
  • Let faculty see how student learning in their particular courses relates to student learning in the program as a whole
  • Help students understand what to expect from their overall undergraduate experience, which helps them assess their own progress and effectiveness as learners
  • Support peer review of departments and programs, and prepare them to demonstrate student learning for external reviewers, grant foundations, and accrediting agencies
  • Show community members what students are learning at UI, and how faculty members and departments are supporting their students

The Office of Assessment supports outcomes assessment in departments by:


To consult on questions about outcomes assessment, contact Wayne Jacobson.

Learning Outcomes Assessment Resources for Academic Departments

Leadership for Assessment

Resources for department leaders who coordinate outcomes assessment

Assessment Design

Resources for designing assessment of program learning outcomes

Using Assessment Findings

Closing the loop by using findings to support program development and decisions

Assessment at Other Universities

Program-level learning assessment at other universities

Leadership for Assessment

Many departments value finding out more about what students are learning across courses, over time, in their major, and they appreciate being able to consider evidence of student learning as they reflect on program quality. And yet, outcomes assessment can get sidetracked or postponed for a variety of reasons.  Links on this page provide resources for department leaders who are responsible for coordinating and maintaining level learning outcomes assessment in their programs:

Assessment Design

The goal of program-level learning outcomes assessment is to look systematically at what students in a department are learning, across courses and over time, through their experiences in the major. However, student learning over an entire degree program is complex and multifaceted, and no single approach serves all departments equally well.Links on this page provide resources for designing department and program-level assessment plans:

Using Assessment: Closing the Loop

Departments at UI establish learning outcomes for their programs, determine how to best organize the curriculum to support student learning, devise appropriate strategies for assessing student learning, and decide how to use assessment findings to further develop their programs. Links on this page provide examples of ways that assessment is being used, and also address some common challenges related to using program-level learning outcomes assessment findings:

Learning Outcomes Assessment at Other Universities

Attention to program-level assessment of student learning is common throughout higher education, including at UI's research university peer institutions. Links on this page take you to examples of program-level learning outcomes assessment sites at other research universities: