Office of Assessment

At Dominican, assessment is reflection in action. The Office of Assessment exists to nurture a culture of evidence, emphasizing an inquiry-driven approach to continuous innovation rather than simple compliance.

students smiling in class

The Office of Assessment facilitates annual assessment reporting and program review.

What Is Assessment?

Assessment is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop an understanding of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve subsequent learning.

Assessment Steps:

  1. Develop learning objectives.
  2. Check for alignment between the curriculum and the objectives.
  3. Develop an assessment plan (must use direct measures).
  4. Collect assessment data.
  5. Use results to improve the program.
  6. Routinely examine the assessment process and correct, as needed

Reference: Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Mary J. Allen

Direct assessment involves the examination of student work samples from assignments, embedded test question responses, written papers, oral presentations, projects, performances, portfolios, and capstone assignments.

Indirect assessment involves capturing student perceptions of their learning through tools such as surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are statements of what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time they complete the major or degree. They may be stated in terms of expected knowledge, skills or attitudes. These outcomes must be consistent with the mission of the department, college, and university. Reference: Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Mary J. Allen

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)


National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment
360 Action Verbs for Writing Student Learning Outcome Statements
Bloom's Taxonomy 
Glossary of Assessment Terms