PCC’s Operating Protocol 617 describes the official procedures and expectations for the Assessment of Student Learning at the college.
For more specifics, see Timeline & Plans.
The Assessment Cycle
The process of assessment is ongoing and cyclical, following these core steps:
PCC’s Assessment Timeline, which follows a calendar year cycle, is designed to clarify and unify college-wide assessment efforts, including planning, training, administering assessments, submitting scores, generating reports, interpreting results, and developing improvement plans.
PCC’s annual assessment cycle includes four key phases that guide our assessment activities over the course of each year:
1) Goal Setting
All planning decisions are driven by faculty values and input, including identifying shared goals for student learning across the college, prioritizing learning outcomes, selecting common rubrics, and determining meaningful alignment between course-, program-, and institution-level assessment activities across disciplines.
Faculty discuss long-term goals for student learning across the institution as well as determine short-term expectations for assessment activities and involvement to help work toward those goals. In this process, faculty reflect on past assessment results and processes to identify areas of improvement as well as share ideas for future activities and adjustments to assessment procedures and materials.
2) Data Collection & Reporting
PCC recently acquired the assessment management platform known as eLumen and is currently conducting a multi-stage implementation process. Ultimately, all assessment planning, score submission, and reporting will be conducted through eLumen to ensure cohesive practices across the institution as well as streamline assessment for faculty.
These integrated efforts are supported by the development and use of common rubrics for institution-wide student learning outcomes that were developed, selected, and revised directly by faculty in order to reflect our shared values and goals for PCC students. These rubrics are also calibrated through “norming” sessions and undergo ongoing review during the planning stage of each assessment cycle.
3) Analyzing Results
With an intentionally aligned and integrated framework of learning outcomes and scoring tools, as well as a streamlined process for recording scores on a large scale across the institution, we are able to generate reports that follow a consistent, accessible format and compile meaningful results across all assessment levels (course, program, and institution). Results are shared with relevant stakeholder groups at each level to facilitate discussions of notable findings and identify successes as well as identify key gaps in student learning and areas of improvement.
4) Closing the Loop
In this most essential step in the cyclical assessment process, faculty groups discuss gaps in learning identified through analysis of assessment results and develop Improvement Plans. Faculty recommendations for changes to course instruction, program curriculum, and institutional practices, including student support services and assessment practices, lead to college-wide initiatives for the next assessment cycle.