Step 3: Carrying out assessment plans/activities

Assessments of SLOs are planned in advance, as part of a larger assessment infrastructure. Some courses or programs may only be assessed once per year, where other courses or program components may be assessed each semester or repeatedly over a given timeframe.

A key question that needs to be addressed at this point is "How much evidence is enough?" The answer can vary based on a number of circumstances. It is important to ensure that the evidence is adequate to address the outcomes as well as the assessment criteria contained in the rubric. The data needs to be of sufficient quality (e.g. valid, reliable, authentic and relevant to the outcome) to be able to make sound judgments on what is working or not working with regard to student learning. Considerations, such as class size, program structure, number of faculty/sections involved, nature of the assessment activity, etc. will shape the overall assessment strategy or approach.

In some instances, faculty or programs may determine that a sample of student evidence will yield the best glimpse of student achievement and performance. Sampling may be a viable option, however there are guidelines that should be followed to ensure that the data set is valid, reliable, and representative of the entire cohort of students being sampled. Planning is key. At no time should sampling be regarded as a shortcut to good, sound assessment practice.

For more on Sampling, the following handout is provided: