Assessment of Student Learning
UT continually reviews the institution's quality and effectiveness and recognizes that excellent institutions continually seek to improve in all areas. The improvement of the overall quality of educational and the enhancement of effective teaching and learning will occur when faculty and administrators work together to implement an institution-wide program for assessment outcomes. Assessment outcomes are defined at UT as a process of evaluation that helps determine the importance of a result and whether changes or improvement are needed. The assessment of student learning is one component of the institution's overall assessment, and is considered the most important one. The assessment of student learning has the student as its primary focus of examination; therefore UT recognizes that the assessment of student learning first occurs on an individual student basis within a particular course, is mainly reflected at the program level, and is supported by the institution.
The purpose of Student Learning Assessment is to continually review the learning experiences of our students at UT, and focus and guide academic programs in the development of student learning outcomes by evaluating what students should learn. Therefore, assessment of student learning shall be primarily course- embedded and school/program-based. A secondary purpose of assessment is accountability, which is demonstrating to our accrediting agencies, governing bodies, constituents, and other interested parties, that we are effective in achieving our vision, mission, and particular institutional goals and program objectives.
Academic assessment ensures that schools reviews contribute in a fundamentally important way to the achievement of the Institution's Mission. As a result, UT concurs that, “The assessment of student learning must demonstrate that the institution's students have knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with institutional goals and that students at graduation have achieved appropriate higher education goals [MSCHE, 2014]”.
The focus of the student assessment plan is to set the structure for the development and implementation of assessment processes at the school/program level. It is intended to be a source of guidance without constraining experimentation or alternate approaches that may be developed by programs/schools within the Institution.
Student learning is the fundamental goal of every institution of higher education. Overall strategic planning efforts at UT are directed ultimately to the enhancement of student learning. The strategic plan takes into account the assessment plan, and results from student learning assessment are used to make decisions and update the strategic plan.