At F&M we are committed to an assessment process that is:
Assessment helps us determine how well students are learning. Good assessment help us become more effective at what we care about most, it also forces us to recognize the ways in which teaching and learning are related, but not identical processes. The College assesses its learning outcomes for the general education curriculum and for majors on a regular schedule.
Assessment is central to the process of teaching and learning, and thus is something that faculty must guide and implement. The Educational Policy Committee (EPC), the ad-hoc subcommittee on Teaching and Learning (TLC), the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Institutional Research contribute to the oversight of assessment and data collection at the College. EPC sets the schedule for assessment of the general education curriculum, the Provost sends the call for assessment of the major, and the TLC provides feedback to departments and EPC on the results of the assessment efforts.
Meaningful assessment can only come from developing our own ways to understand teaching and learning in our classrooms, our departments and more generally at the College. The ultimate outcome of this is improved student learning, and sustainable assessment practice. Indeed, this is the natural outcome of self-reflective consideration of the role of one's course within the larger context of the major and the college, and departmental reflection on the role of the major in promoting student learning. Assessment is a process as much as an outcome. As we engage in the process of clarifying our goals, debating how to recognize them, considering what information will help us to do this, and all the other activities involved in assessment, we become more reflective practitioners, and therefore more effective at helping students learn.