Guidelines for Program Assessment: Assessable Education Goals

What are your assessable education goals?

  1. What is to be learned? (content, abilities, values, and attitudes)
  2. What level of learning is expected? (criteria and standards or indicators of achievement)
  3. What is the context in which the learning takes place? (application or environment)

In setting educational goals, ask the following questions:

  • What should a learner who has met all requirements of the program be able to know and do? That is, what is good enough? what is sufficient?
  • What should a learner be able to know and do at several major points in his or her program?
  • What qualities, skills, and capabilities can a learner expect to gain from the program? (based on bench-marking, employers surveys, graduate schools admissions requirements, etc.)
  • What broad statements can you make about the purposes of the educational program, incorporating information from the preceding statements, and describing
    • What is to be learned?
    • What level of learning is to be achieved?
    • In what context is the learning to take place?

You may find that your expectations of student learning takes place in three areas: content knowledge, cognitive skills or abilities, and attitudes or values. Often educators rely on taxonomies to aid them in describing what students should be learning and at what level. See the example of Bloom's Classification of Cognitive Skills. Verbs are listed under "Related Behaviors" to help you describe at what level students should be in the various stages of your program.

Examples of Assessable Goals

  • Students will understand and apply logical and ethical principles to personal and social situations.
  • Students will understand scientific terms, concepts and theories, and will formulate empirically testable hypotheses.
  • Students will understand and interpret major events and ideas of the cultures of America and of the world.
  • Students will recognize and appreciate major works of art and literature and the traditions from which they came.
  • Students will use computers to analyze information and to communicate effectively to others.
  • Students will use mathematical tools and concepts to analyze and understand physical, biological, and social phenomena.
  • Students will examine issues rationally, logically, and coherently.

Subject Knowledge Goal: The student will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of human resources principles and practices including an understanding of the psychology of human behavior in the workplace and the business setting in which this behavior occurs.

Communication Goal: The student will clearly and effectively communicate this knowledge both orally and in writing in a manner appropriate to the relevant audience.

Library Skills Goal: The student will be able to locate, integrate and evaluate the professional literature in the human resources field.

Quantitative Reasoning and Critical Thinking Goal: The student will design, conduct, and statistically analyze data to solve problems encountered by human resources professionals. The student will substantiate conclusions and implications generated by such research.

Valuing and Critical Thinking Goal: The student will identify and present the implications of various ethical and legal decisions facing human resources professionals. The student will substantiate his or her point of view with credible reasoning.

Computer Competency and Critical Thinking Goal: The student will use and evaluate computer software packages to maintain records, analyze data and generate test reports.

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