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Assurance of Student Learning Criteria


Criteria for Success and Target

Criteria for Success
refers to a narrative/explanation of the level of performance students will have achieved for your program to have been successful (students will have earned 4/5 for documentation and citation on capstone essays. The criteria for success assists in setting targets. You will use your rubric or other instrument(s) to set the criterion for student success for each SLO.  What level of achievement would a student demonstrate to be successful?  Again, having a good rubric can give you a description of level of accomplishment for an SLO and also a numerical indicator in order establish a target for your program. For example, an assessment committee might evaluate ten essays and score them with a 5-point rubric.  After a discussion, the group could say that an average score of 3.5 would equal success.  Programs need to be able to explain WHY they set the target they set—having a meaningful conversation about the skills/knowledge the rubric measures will help justify the target selection.  Remember this - “Setting a target is not about guessing what you can achieve. It involves knowing where you are now, what you are trying to achieve, and determining challenging but realistic amounts of improvement needed to get there” ~ Gallaudet University

Targets are the composite, numerical goals students in the sample will have achieved for program success (75% [that’s the target number] of students in the program will have earned 4/5 on documentation/citation on the rubric). The ASL Template ask for Program Success Target for this Measurement” and the “Percent of Program Achieving Target.” These should both be recorded as percentages.

Note: Not achieving a target in a given assessment cycle is not necessarily a bad thing in the eyes of SACSCOC.  Remember that the purpose of assessment is improvement, so not achieving a target provides an opportunity to improve.

Here is a helpful PowerPoint resource for setting targets.

Sample Sizes

Generally speaking, at least 20% of students enrolled in the program should yield your sample size, with a minimum of five in the sample.  So, if your program has 50 total majors, you would evaluate artifacts from 10 randomly selected students (20% of 50 = 10).  If your program has 8 students, you would need to evaluate artifacts from at least 5, but you could choose to evaluate artifacts from all 8.  If you only have 4 students in your program, you would evaluate artifacts from all of the students.  Many programs are evaluating artifacts from students in capstone courses.  If you have 20 students in your capstone course, but 100 majors, you would evaluate work from all 20 students.  Unless the number is too high, we recommend assessing work from all students in the capstone.  Please indicate the number of students assessed and what proportion of students are represented in the methods section.

Here are some other resources:

Sampling for the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Rationale: Why Sample?


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 Last Modified 3/12/20