Note: These documents are for internal review by members of the F&M Faculty and Administration and are NOT to be shared with people unaffiliated with Franklin & Marshall College. You will be asked for login credentials to even see the documents. 

Here you will find examples of assessment plans departments have been using on F&M's campus. The Fellows have identified plans whose features others would find useful as we move forward with the assessment process. Plans are listed with the permission of their authors.

Readers will see that these departments have taken a wide variety of approaches to assessment; some have focused on a single course, others on the major, and others on a particular set of skills/outcomes within the major.    All of these plans have relatively clearly stated goals.    Most use at least some direct measures of student learning, but they vary from use of student work produced in classes (evaluated using a focused rubric) to work that is produced specifically for the purpose of assessment.  They employ a variety of indirect measures, ranging from student self-reports to exit interviews to alumni surveys.


Please keep in mind that our model of assessment  at F&M is intentionally diverse; there is no single “right” way to put together an assessment of student learning.     (See our statement of “Guiding Principles”.)  What matters is that our assessment efforts provide us with information that will enable us to gauge how well we are achieving our goals in our classes, and guide us in making improvements as needed.    Note that these examples are not meant to serve as templates of what you MUST do;  rather, they are offered as sources of inspiration.   They are works in progress, as are all of our plans. Please also note that these assessment plans are for internal use by the faculty at the College and should not be distributed to people outside the College without permission from the appropriate Department or Program.


  • Biology

    Biology Image

    The 2011-2012 document is a departmental-level assessment with a topic focus - writing. It is an excellent starting point. They still need to develop and refine the assessment tool (perhaps a rubric), but they are exploring both direct and indirect data sources. This is a very thoughtful assessment, and it keeps with the long-standing strength of the department. 

    The 2012-2013 document is a continuation of the previous year's assessment focus using a developed and refined rubric on a sample of student papers. 

  • Chemistry

    Chemistry Image

    This 2012-2013 document is a course-level assessment structured around the laboratory report component of the first four courses of the department sequence. The assessment tool focuses on the expectations of the laboratory reports in addition to the development of the students' abilities to write the reports. Outcomes include a better defined set of departmental goals for lab reports for both faculty and students. 

  • Dance

    Dance Image

    This 2012-2013 document is a department-level assessment with a statement of learning goals, how the department has worked to achieve those goals, and a clear mapping of dance goals to dance courses.

  • Economics

    Economics Image

    This 2011-2012 document is a course-level assessment. This department has two distinct introductory courses, so this type of plan makes sense. Responsibility for developing assessment tools lies with the faculty who teach the classes, so this is a decentralized model. This approach can work well as along as faculty coordinate their goals and results at some point. 


  • English

    English Image

    This 2011-2012 document is a departmental-level assessment. The statement of learning goals are included here - they are clearly stated, and serve as a good starting point for developing an assessment plan.


  • French

    French Image

    This 2011-2012 document is a course-level assessment. There is an excellent statement of goals in terms of what students WILL do. This is well laid-out and uses a good choice of focus (transitional courses) - using assessment to help them address a departmental concern.


  • German

    German Image

    The 2011-2012 document is a course and departmental assessment. This focuses on a single skill - language proficiency - and uses an "outside" assessment tool - the CEFR, a generally accepted measure in their field. Note, however, that use of this will require money and time to train faculty.

    The 2012-2013 document is a continuation of the previous year's course and departmental survey, with a detailed account of the results and analysis thereof. 


  • History

    History Image

    The 2011-2012 document  is a course and departmental assessment. This is a great plan all the way across. It includes a skills matrix and assessment rubric. This is holistic, repeatable, and closes the loop. It's global and ambitious, yet, it may not be implementable in a single year.

    The 2012-2013 document is a continuation of the course and departmental assessment created in the previous academic year. Two years worth of data offers the department solid comparisons, which becomes quite useful for analyzing the efficacy of departmental goals. 


  • International Studies

    International Studies Image

    This 2011-2012 document is a departmental-level assessment. Because the students come in at different levels and different goals, the use of verbs such as "enhancing" and "developing" (which can be muddy in other contexts) makes sense. They use innovative measures - asking students to develop and reflect on their own goals for the major. It might also be helpful to provide students with some guidance in developing their goals. 

  • Judaic Studies

    Judaic Studies Image

    This 2012-2013 document is a report on course-level assessment already happening within the program. The conclusion of the report highlights inherent flaws in the assessment process at it pertains to the humanities, namely quantification. 


  • Mathematics

    Mathematics Image

    This 2012-2013 document is a course-level assessment. It includes clearly stated learning objectives in addition to a statistical analysis of the course's performance and outcomes.


  • Physics and Astronomy

    Physics and Astronomy Image

    The 2011-2012 document is a department and course-level assessment. It centers around 9 clearly stated learning goals. It includes a strong statement, alignment of departmental and course goals, and plans for measurable assessment. It demonstrates a synergy between external review and assessment programs. It is global and ambitious, but has a clear starting point.

    The 2012-2013 document is a department-level assessment plan aimed at forming a closed-loop assessment process based on one of the important departmental goals. It includes a plan to design a rubric for evaluating the skill with which experimental evidence has been described and used in the context of a written report of experiment.

  • Sociology

    Sociology Image

    This 2012-2013 document  is a course-level and department level assessment. It incorporates assessment for both entry- and upper-level courses in addition to revising exit interviews to perhaps function as an assessment tool. 


  • Spanish

    Spanish Image

    The 2011-2012 document is a course-level assessment. The goals are clearly stated. It shows good examples of both direct and indirect measures; the survey (indirect measure) is interesting/valuable in its ability to help the faculty gain insight in potential mismatches between how students are performing and how students feel about their performance. It is also nice that students are responding to the same survey across courses, so change and development can be tracked across time if desired. 

    The 2012-2013 document is a continuation of the assessment tool developed in the previous academic year. While the department continues to find value in the designed survey, they have here recognized the additional need for a direct assessment tool.