Assessment of Institutional Outcome - Critical Thinking

Start:  Summer 2008                                    End:   April 2010

Short title:  Assessing Institutional Outcomes 1--Critical Thinking

Goal:  Design a process for assessing institutional outcomes by focusing on one outcome, Critical Thinking.

Identify AQIP category:  Helping students learn

Reasons for this project now:

             Assessment has been a concern at Kettering College for several years, but outcomes assessment projects to date have not produced adequate data for analysis.  The initial institutional-wide assessment effort did not have the full support of faculty because we were attempting to gather outcome/competency information about each student.  Our stated goal was the generation of competency transcripts for students.   Faculty did not completely understand the link between institutional outcomes and  assessment, nor did they understand how to embed assessment of outcomes into existing courses. We have now shifted our thinking about outcomes assessment and are planning to gather institutional data to guide improvement.

              Though individual programs routinely assess some student outcomes as mandated by their professional associations, these assessments are not integrated into institutional assessment planning and data collection, and students do not understand how program success and institutional outcomes are related.

              A newly appointed academic dean will assume office July 2008.  This change in leadership and the appointment of an assessment officer will be the catalysts for launching this new assessment initiative.

              An assessment process must be articulated, planned and implemented for kc to establish a culture of improvement.

Areas affected & involved:

  • Academic Services including all departments and programs
  • Assessment officer (to be named)
  • Academic support
  • Academic information office

Organizational processes you expect this project to change or improve:

  • Student learning
  • Academic assessment and planning
  • Professional development especially of faculty to increase understanding of outcomes assessment

Rationale for the length of time planned:

              This is a multi phase project. The timeline allows for the process to be planned, communicated, evaluated and implemented.  The first cycle of assessment will then be used to develop the complete plan for assessing all five of the institutional outcomes adopted by faculty. 


2008/09 academic year

  • select assessment office
  • begin faculty development about assessment
  • define learning outcome(s) in objective and measurable term
  • determine assessment measurement methods insuring multiple measures of the outcome(s)
  • determine when and where assessment will take place

Fall 2009

  • administer assessment
  • collect data

Winter 2010

  • analyze process and begin data analysis
  • review and communicate results
  • refine process and plan assessment of other institutional outcomes

How monitor your efforts:

              The new assessment officer working with the Outcomes & Accreditation Committee and the assessment project work team will be responsible for spearheading and monitoring the project.  Maintaining the timeline will be key in building and sustaining momentum.


Outcome measures that indicate whether the project has been successful:

  • Faculty demonstrate understanding of the assessment process by attending workshops, participating in designing course embedded assessment tools and collecting and contributing useable assessment data.
  • A process is developed that can be used effectively to assess the other institutional outcomes
  • Evaluation of critical thinking becomes ongoing, data is collected, analyzed and used in planning.