Annual Academic Assessment Process

Purpose and Timeline for Annual Assessment

In order to ensure compliance with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education's accrediting standards, all academic programs should assess at least one learning outcome per year, with the entire set of program learning outcomes being assessed in a 3 to 5 year cycle. 

Each year, the program coordinator must submit a report detailing the assessment activities for the year, including results and identified improvements. Annual assessment reports are due by Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

Annual assessment reports must be submitted to UB's AAPAR Platform, which contains program learning outcomes, program assessment plans, curriculum maps and annual assessment reports. This database is viewable to all UB faculty and staff.

Program Assessment at UB: An Overview

In support of UB's ongoing mission provide excellent programs of undergraduate and graduate education, and to meet all criteria for the standards of accreditation for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, it is imperative for all programs to be able to

1.   Identify and document Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

2.   Link Program Learning Outcomes to the Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) as established by the 2014 Realizing UB2020 Report with a curriculum map

3.   Effectively assess each PLO, ideally using both direct and indirect methods of assessment

4.   Continually meet or improve on each PLO, based on the results of the assessments.

Faculty who are identified as Program Coordinators are responsible for ensuring their programs Learning Outcomes are documented, assessed, and reviewed in UB's AAPAR Platform. If you believe you have been identified as the Program Coordinator in error, or are having difficulty with the site, please contact our office at uboee@buffalo.edu.

Completing the Annual Assessment Report

Learning Outcomes

The "Learning Outcomes" section contains the following fields which must be completed in AAPAR:

1.) Program Learning Outcomes define what knowledge and skills students will be assessed for when they complete a study - what students will know and be able to do because they have completed a program.

Tip: check to make sure all of your program's learning outcomes are listed in AAPAR!

2.) The "Assessment Methods" section details how the outcome will be measured: Who will be assessed, when, and how often.

3.) The "Success Criteria" indicate the level of performance which represents mastery and what proportion of students should be achieving mastery.

4.) The "Assessment Findings" is for assessment results and what they show about student learning.

5.) "Actions Based on Findings" allows for a discussion of changes that were made or will be made to the program or courses in the program based on the results and who reviewed the findings.

6.) "UB ILO Mapping" enables programs to show how program-level learning outcomes support UB's Institutional Learning Outcomes.

7.) "Course Mapping" shows which courses in a program directly address the learning outcome. 

Custom Survey Assistance

Interested in using a survey for assessment? Follow the link below to fill out our Custom Survey Assistance form and we will help you create, deliver, and analyze a custom survey for your needs!

Planning

The "Planning" section has three interrelated fields that allow you to strategically plan improvements for your department:

1.) The Program Plan indicates the plan of action for maintaining, strengthening, or changing aspects of program delivery based on the assessment findings or interpretation of results for the outcomes focused on in this report. 

2.) The Budget Plan is a narrative that links strategic investments with supporting evidence of need identified through program assessment. Identify specific program budgetary needs and link the needs to learning outcome assessment completed in this assessment cycle.

Tip: by narrativizing program needs in terms of outcomes and improvements, the budget plan section offers a powerful tool for discussing department funding needs!

3.) The Assessment Plan identifies which learning outcome(s) will be the focus of assessment in the upcoming assessment cycle.

Documents

The "Documents" section allows you to add supplemental documents that support your report with added details or evidence. These can include

  • Narrative and summary reports
  • Curriculum maps
  • Assessment rubrics
  • Evidence of student learning

This section can also ctontain documents from external accreditation or comprehensive program review, including

  • Self-study reports
  • Evaluator Reports
  • Action Items

Tip: file uploads must be of type "application/pdf" and be no larger than 2.3mb in size.

Assessing Student Learning Outcomes in a Pandemic

SUNY has issued guidance indicating that student learning assessment should continue in some form in spite of the pandemic.  However, we recognize that data collection plans for spring 2020 may have been put on hold as departments worked to get courses online in a short amount of time.  Even if you have been unable to collect assessment data in spring, there are other assessment activities that can be completed and reports in AAPAR:

  • Review learning outcomes for all programs; enter learning outcomes for all programs that currently do not have them listed in the system.
  • Further develop the assessment plan for all learning outcomes and enter assessment methods, success criteria, and the data collection timeline for each outcome in the system.
  • Complete the mapping of all learning outcomes to the relevant institutional learning outcomes in the new Institutional Learning Outcomes section of the interface.
  • Seek alternate sources of data that address learning outcomes.  Some other data sources you might consider include: course evaluations, student surveys, engagement statistics within UB Learns courses, and/or data collected from assignments and assessments in UB Learns. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance with any of these alternate methods.

Additional Resources on Program Assessment

Example Reports

Further Information & Contact Us

Contact Your Assessment Council Representative and Educational Effectiveness Liaison

Below is a list of Assessment Council Representatives and OEE Liaisons by school, along with a link to contact them directly. 

School/Unit UAC Representative OEE Liaison Click Here to Contact

College of Arts and Sciences (Graduate Programs)

David Johnson Mary Odden Contact

College of Arts and Sciences (Undergraduate Programs)

Justin Read Mary Odden Contact
Graduate School of Education Catherine Cook-Cottone Carol Van Zile-Tamsen Contact
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (Basic Science Programs) Tanya Biscardi Thomas Slomka Contact

Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (MD Program)

Dan Sheehan Thomas Slomka Contact

Law School

James Wooten Carol Van Zile-Tamsen Contact

School of Architecture and Urban Planning

Joyce Hwang Daniel Schweitzer Contact
School of Dental Medicine Carol Tutzauer Mary Odden Contact

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Christine Human Carol Van Zile-Tamsen Contact
School of Management Dianna Cichocki Thomas Slomka Contact
School of Nursing Susan Grinslade Cathleen Morreale Contact
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Fred Doloresco Thomas Slomka Contact
School of Public Health and Health Professions Gaspar Farkas Cathleen Morreale Contact
School of Social Work Kathryn Kendall Cathleen Morreale Contact