Closing the loop has often been interpreted as two rounds of data with the first round showing bad data and the second round showing good data. Through conversations with respected AACSB and Assurance of Learning (AoL) expert, also author of the 2003 AACSB White Papers, Dr. Katherine Martell and AACSB's own Robert Reid, Executive VP and Chief Accreditation Officer, it is CBE's understanding that this misperception of closing the loop has led many astray. Instead of a focus on data alone, closing the loop entails intervention and action to allow for continuous improvement in student learning. Yes, data is needed to identify where action has to be taken, but collecting data in itself is not closing the loop. Closing the loop is taking action and understanding that the impact of some actions will take years to manifest in data. Understanding this redirects attention away from meaningless data collection towards effective data collection and intervention that leads to action.
With this understanding, CBE has made significant strides towards effectively managing curricula using an innovative AoL system design and the support of an accepted culture of AoL. A system in place and willing individuals on board, CBE has been able to conduct program reviews, assess key learning objectives, and determine and implement impactful initiatives.