In This Section
Assessment at USciences
Assessment refers to a wide variety of methods or tools that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, competency and educational needs of students.
Assessments are used for multiple teaching and learning purposes connected to student development and success. These purposes include:
- Summative Assessment: High stakes or end of course graded tests, assignments, or projects which are used to determine whether students have learned what they were expected to learn during a defined instructional period.
- Formative Assessment: Gives educators in-process feedback about what students are learning or not learning so that instructional approaches, teaching materials, and academic support can be modified accordingly. This type of assignment is a tool teachers use to give feedback to students and/or guide their instruction.
- Pre-Assessment/Post-Assessment: In order to assess learning, you must have a baseline or pre-assessment of what students know prior to instruction as well as an indication of what they know after instruction.
The University Assessment Council at USciences is comprised of representative faculty and staff interested in assessment and continuous improvement efforts. The UAC meets regularly to discuss topics regarding best practices and trends in using assessment to impact student learning and institutional success. The Council also develops mentoring and training workshops for staff and faculty on assessment practices, and serves to foster a culture of assessment. This Council is also responsible for collecting and providing feedback on the Annual University Assessment Reports, and programmatic assessment practices within the Colleges.
Assessment Related Events
UAC Members organize the Annual Assessment Day, which bring faculty and staff together to reflect on institutional and programmatic assessment data. Annual Assessment Day has become a method for integrating student learning outcomes assessment and institutional outcomes into the USciences culture.
Various University data are highlighted at Data Day which is a day long workshop with faculty and staff to share data and ask questions. Presenters for this day include both UAC faculty and staff and representatives from the colleges to discuss and share best practices in assessment, discoveries and ways to close the assessment loop in their programs.
Individual colleges and programs hold their own data and departmental retreats periodically during the academic year. Outcomes from these events support the University organized events.
UAC Members facilitate workshops at various professional development training throughout the year. Many of these workshops connect assessment with the day to day teaching activities of faculty and offer research-based assessment protocols for making assessment more meaningful to faculty, staff and students.
The University utilizes a variety of assessment tools for completing programmatic and institutional assessment including an assessment system for continuous data collection, exam software, learning management tools, experiential assessment management and other flipped-classroom and technology tools for teaching and learning. Feedback is essential to the process and all tools provide opportunities for students to receive feedback on formative and summative assessments, offering real-time learning and continuous improvement.
Kymber Taylor, Director of Institutional Effectiveness
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University of the Sciences
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Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495