WIDS® Resource Library

Program Outcome Assessment

Program Outcome Assessment

Outcomes Assessment is the process of collecting evidence that indicates the extent to which your program achieves its intentions. There are four main steps:


  1. Plan: Define the most important goals for students to achieve as a result of participating in an academic experience (outcomes)
  2. Deliver:  Deliver the instruction
  3. Check: Evaluate how well students achieved the goal (assessment)
  4. Act: Use the results to improve the academic experience (closing the loop)

WIDS Tools and Process

WIDS suggests the following process for outcome assessment using the WIDS application.

1. Define and Manage College-Wide Outcomes in the Organization module

a. Create college wide outcomes: core abilities and/or general education outcomes

b. Define criteria and assessment strategies for the outcomes

c. Create rubrics for assessing the outcomes that can be used in programs and courses

2. Define and Manage Program Outcomes

a. Create program outcomes from the program module

b. Define criteria and assessment strategies for assessing them

c. Associate college-wide outcomes (core abilities/general education outcomes) with the program

3.  Map Program and College-Wide Outcomes to courses

a. Assign program outcomes to courses using the WIDS matrix. Indicate the level at which the outcome is addressed.

b. Assign college wide outcomes to courses using the WIDS matrix. Indicate the level at which the outcome is addressed. Matrices can show gaps and overlaps, showcasing where students can practice before assessment of a given outcome.

4.  Create Performance Assessment Tasks (rubrics)

a.  Create program assessment rubrics from the program module to assess the program outcomes.

b. Associate any organization rubrics with the programs or courses where they will be used.

5.   Create Program Assessment Plans

a. Develop outcome assessment plans from the Program module for assessing program and college wide outcomes.

b. Enter results of assessment activities as they become available.

c. Store supporting documentation electronically in the software for easy access and sharing.

d. Generate program level reports to view progress and make plans for improvement.

Download our free Outcome Assessment Plan Sample.

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