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Assessment

Ensuring Our Students' Success

Davenport University assesses all programs to make sure they are relevant to the academic and career goals of DU students.

Davenport is committed to offering quality academic programs.  Therefore, DU engages in a variety of activities to facilitate continuous improvement including annual formative assessment of programs and courses, comprehensive  program  review on a seven year cycle, and attainment of external accreditations as appropriate. The focus of assessment is on the use of valid direct and indirect measures to collect data which is used to drive formative development and improvement.  Assessment processes are carried out by Department Chairs and their selected  team in the Colleges with oversight and leadership from the Associate Dean(s) and Dean.

Davenport University embraces Thomas Angelo's definition of assessment (1995) as                                                              
an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning."  

DU Assessment Process  
                                                  (graphic by K. Daniels, 2007)                                       

Assessment involves:

  • Making our expectations explicit and public;
  • Setting appropriate criteria and high expectations for learning quality; systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards;
  • And using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance.

Simply put, assessment (often called outcomes assessment) should be useful, and used to:  Evaluate your curriculum, Plan improvements when necessary, and Evaluate the effects of the changes. Assessment helps departments affirm those things in their curricula and courses that are going well.  Assessment also helps identify what is not going well, and often points to the specific changes that might be needed.  Assessment is not static; rather, it is an ongoing and continuous effort to improve the quality of instruction, student learning, and overall effectiveness of a department or unit.