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Assurance of Learning (AOL)

 

Assurance of Learning (AOL)

The goal of our AOL process is to demonstrate that students are achieving program learning goals and to promote the continuous improvement of our programs.  AOL not only provides the assessment data that allow us to demonstrate to stakeholders that our students are learning what we intend for them to learn, but it also helps to assure our stakeholders that we are working to improve student learning by using assessment data to identify areas in need of improvement and then taking actions to make those improvements.  

 The AOL process is overseen by the Curriculum Committee.  This body is the focal point of our AOL process and is tasked with reviewing assessment results, closing the loop analysis, and making improvement action recommendations provided by program committees.  Program committees are expected to make program improvements and conduct other AOL work as needed.

AOL Process

The AOL process, summarized in Figure 1, starts with our CBE mission, vision, and values.  From these, we create program-specific goals that are translated into measurable objectives.  Some goals may have only one objective whiles others may have more depending on what it takes to measure achievement of the goal.

Assessment tools or measures are then identified for each objective.  These assessment tools or measures use a sample of student work or output that is either assessed using a rubric, as for a writing assignment or oral presentation, or assessed based on the solutions in a test.  In all cases, a benchmark level of performance is identified, so if a student scores higher than the benchmark, the student is considered to have met expectations for that objective.

Our primary assessment of learning objectives should be done using direct, in-classroom measures of performance.  Indirect measures of assessment like student, alumni, employer, or other stakeholder surveys may be used as supplements to, but not replacements for, direct measures.  Course grades should not be used for assessment purposes.

For each program learning objective, assessment data from a representative sample of students is collected, the percentage of students meeting learning objective expectations is reported to faculty and stakeholders, and, where appropriate, program improvements are recommended, implemented, and later re-assessed.  Using assessment data as a feedback loop to assess previous improvements and to determine if further improvements are needed is known as “closing the loop.”  

The expectation is that every learning objective will undergo a “closing the loop” process at least once every five years between AACSB reviews, promoting a process of continuous improvement of our programs and student learning.

Figure 1: Assurance of Learning Process

AOL process

While each program at CBE has its own goals, objectives, and assessments, the overall structure of the AOL process is the same:  define goals, objectives, measures and rubrics, assess student work, report assessment results to faculty, the dean, and stakeholders, generate program improvement ideas from faculty and others, implement approved improvement ideas, and reassess student work to measure the impact of improvement actions.  This “closing the loop” thus continues with each successive set of assessments, improvements, and assessments.


For more information, including FAQs and terminology definitions please refer to the following:

  • CSU East Bay CBE AOL web page available at:

    •  http://www.csueastbay.edu/cbe/about/assurance-of-learning/index.html

  • AACSB web site available at:

    • http://www.aacsb.edu/

  • “AACSB Assurance of Learning Standards: An Interpretation” available at:

    • http://www.aacsb.edu/publications/whitepapers

For program-specific AOL-related documentation refer to the following:

  1. Curriculum maps are available at csueastbay.edu/aol/plan-and-conduct/curriculum-maps.html

  2. Assessment tools/measures, rubrics, benchmarks are available at csueastbay.edu/aol/plan-and-conduct/assessment-tools/index.html

  3. Assessment results reports are available at csueastbay.edu/aol/analyze-and-discuss/index.html

  4. AOL summary reports are available at csueastbay.edu/aol/close-the-loop/aol-summary-tables.html

  5. AOL assessment plans at csueastbay.edu/aol/plan-and-conduct/assessment-plans.html

To view and/or download the Curriculum Management Handbook, click here.

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