Assessment is the systematic process of collecting, evaluating, and using information to determine how well we are meeting our educational goals. Purposeful assessment efforts at all levels of the institution combined with use of results for improvement demonstrate our shared commitment to student learning.

Assessment happens at several levels and addresses questions in broadening scope about student learning and the learning environment. 

  • Are students learning what we want them to learn?
  • Does our curriculum make sense? What are we missing? What could we do better?
  • How well are we preparing our students for their futures?
  • What evidence is there that the institution is fulfilling its educational mission?
  • How well are we preparing our students for their futures? Are we making a difference?

At the course level, assessment can help instructors improve their own teaching practice by understanding how well students are achieving the learning outcomes for the course and identifying where instruction can be improved. 

At the program level, assessment can help faculty make informed and collaborative decisions about the curriculum.  

At the institutional level, assessment informs meaningful dialogue and decision-making about how the university can improve its programs and services to support student success. Assessment can also help us understand the effectiveness of the co-curriculum in supporting educational outcomes.

Results of assessment are also used for external accountability, including regional accreditation such as the Higher Learning Commission, and specialized accrediting agencies such as ABET (Engineering), NASM (Music), CAEP (Education), and AACSB (Business).

CTL Assessment Resources:

The Center for Teaching & Learning offers a growing set of resources to support CU faculty and instructors to select, design, and use effective assessment strategies and tools in their courses and programs. 

Want to talk with someone about assessment strategies specific to your course or program? The CTL offers individualized, confidential consultations free of charge to individuals and groups on the CU Boulder campus.

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