OLE Core Assessment Overview

This page provides a broad overview of the OLE Core assessment process and the 9-year timeline for OLE Core assessment. For an annual timeline of specific requests and opportunities for faculty teaching courses with OLE Core attributes, click here.

Overview of the Assessment Process

When faculty members teach a course with an OLE Core attribute, they are agreeing to teach material that meets all of the intended learning outcomes (ILOs) for that attribute. Determining whether we as a college are successfully addressing these ILOs requires us to directly assess the ILOs. The best and most direct way of doing this is using artifacts from courses. The faculty voted to establish the OLE Core with an expected life of ten years, which is consequently the timeline for assessing all OLE Core ILOs. Each OLE Core attribute will be assessed twice over a nine-year period (leaving the final year for redesign of the full curriculum) in a sequence designed by the Assessment Committee.

Preparing for the Assessment Process

For faculty teaching a course with an OLE Core attribute that will be assessed in a given year, it is important to be prepared to share artifacts from your course that demonstrate student learning appropriate to the relevant ILOs. Prior to the semester in which an assessed course is taught, the instructor will be assigned a particular ILO for which supporting artifacts will be collected. This advanced notice will help teachers prepare an assignment demonstrating student learning of that ILO. After the student work is completed, faculty will share these artifacts with the Assessment Committee. The committee will take over the assessment process at this point.

The Purpose of Assessment

It is important to remember that this process is not about evaluating an individual faculty member’s course or teaching; rather, it is about assessing how well we as a college are helping students gain the learning associated with each of the ILOs.

Annual Assessment Committee Activities

In the late spring of each year the Assessment Committee will identify faculty teaching courses with OLE Core attributes slated to be assessed during the following academic year. These faculty members will receive a communication from the Assessment Committee letting them know of a specific attribute ILO that should be assessed in one of their courses carrying an OLE Core attribute scheduled for assessment. This communication will also assure faculty that members of the Assessment Committee are available to assist in the design of student assignments or projects that lend themselves to assessing the assigned ILO.

Student artifacts from fall term courses will be submitted to the Assessment Committee within one week of students completing the assignment, exam, or project during the fall semester. The committee uses these fall term artifacts to assemble training packets in support of the upcoming summer assessment workshops. Artifacts submitted from interim and spring term courses will be combined with those from the fall term and a random sample of these will be submitted to summer scoring workshops for their consideration. All course, instructor, and student-specific identifiers will be removed before the artifacts are used for training or scoring.

Near the end of the fall semester is also the time when the Assessment Committee begins recruiting potential scorers for the summer scoring workshop. These workshops typically occur in early June. Faculty participating in the scoring activity will be financially compensated.

The summer workshops, one per OLE Core attribute, will produce reports to the Assessment Committee of observations and any recommendations that emerge from the scoring exercise. These results will form the basis of reports to the Board of Regents and the College Faculty on general education assessment. The workshop members will also be encouraged to notify the Assessment Committee of any ideas they may have to improve the assessment process itself.

The Board of Regents receives two assessment reports every year. The fall report focuses on the prior summer’s OLE Core assessment and institutional assessments typically administered by Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment (IE&A), while the spring report focuses more on local department/program assessment activities.  These reports are joint undertakings of the Assessment Committee and IE&A.