Design an Implementation Plan

Basic Steps of Program Assessment:

  1. Define your mission statement;
  2. Establish program and course learning outcomes;
  3. Determine where the learning will take place;
  4. Engage in the assessment process (collect, analyze, and interpret evidence);
  5. Create/revise an implementation plan to improve student learning.

Steps 1-3 are done once and then revised as needed. Steps 4-5 are repeated each time an assessment activity/process takes place.

The Implementation Plan

As described in the section, "Report and Use Results" each program is asked to develop an implementation plan as part of the Academic Program Review process. This plan provides an ongoing map for assessing components of the program over time. The implementation plan includes, but is not limited to, an action plan to achieve program maintenance outcomes (e.g., the study of anticipated student profile over the next six years) and program learning outcomes (e.g., study on student achievement of critical thinking skills). The table below includes elements of an implementation action plan with guiding questions and suggestions:

Plan Components Guiding Criteria Notes/Suggestions
Program Mission/Goals
  • Include a Mission/Program Goals that describe what the students in the major will know, value, and be able to do upon graduation.
Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)
  • List the program learning outcomes.
  • 3-8 specific, assessable outcomes are sufficient.
  • Consider linking PLOs to Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) in course syllabi; regularly update PLOs in the University catalog

See Develop Learning Outcomes

Program Maintenance Outcomes (PMOs)
  • List the program maintenance outcomes recommended as a result of the Academic Program Review.
  • Program maintenance outcomes generally include items that are not directly related to the assessment of student learning outcomes such as reviewing laboratory space, hiring additional support staff, etc.
Assessment Methods/Activities
  • Describe the assessment methods to be used and appropropriate for the learning outcomes.
  • Programs should employ multiple measures for assessing PLOs.
  • Each PLO should be aligned with at least one direct assessment method.

See Select/Design Assessment Methods

Alignment
  • Indicate where and at what level program learning outcomes are being addressed in the curriculum. This can be accomplished through the use of a curriculum map.
  • Create a curriculum map in a department or committee meeting.

See Create a curriculum map

Assessment Process
  • Identify when each PLO will be addressed.
  • Identify program faculty members best equipped to take a lead role in the assessment of each PLO.
  • A good tip is to first assess an outcome where data are already available (e.g., choose to assess writing because the department has a writing rubric and students are submitting written reports)
  • A program can assess one outcome a year, but plan to cover all outcomes during the seven year Academic Program Review Cycle
  • Divide the workload

(Adapted from University of Hawaii, Manoa Assessment).

Implementation Plan Template

See also Report and Use Results