Oregon State University

Undergraduate Majors Assessment

APAA - Assessment

Academic Assessment Planning at OSU

Our culture at OSU values the autonomy of each department; their expertise is vital to establishing the standards of competence for students in their discipline. Therefore, the greatest energy and resources will be focused on departments to facilitate the articulation and practice of evidence based decision making. This process strives to promote and continually improve student learning. We can break this down into three necessary components related to full cycle assessment.

Full Cycle Assessment


Articulate Student Learning Outcomes


Student learning outcomes are learner-focused statements reflecting what a student will be able to do as a result of an instructional activity. Each outcome statement should start with a measurable action verb that indicates the level of learning, followed by a precise description of the learned behavior, knowledge, or attitude. Bloom's Taxonomy is a useful tool for choosing action verbs that accurately describe a desired level of student learning. It is often helpful to start with this phrase: After completion of this <<course/program>>, a student will be able to...

For example,

After completion of a Learning Outcome workshop, an OSU faculty member will be able to:

  • Identify an appropriate action verb from Bloom's Taxonomy that describes a particular level of learning.
  • Describe the desired behavior a student will be able to exhibit upon successful completion of a course.
  • Assess students' performance for evidence of desired learning."

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Gathering Information and Tools for Assessing Student Learning


Direct Measures
demonstrate student achievement toward a particular learning outcome based on an identified standard of performance.

  • Course Embedded Assessments (see Rubrics and Primary Trait Anaysis)
    • Exam Questions
    • Papers
    • Laboratory skill test
    • Oral presentation
  • Standardized Tests
  • Pre/Post Tests
  • etc.

Indirect Measures
appraise opinions, thoughts, or perceptions about student knowledge, skills, or attitudes.

  • Surveys
  • Student or Faculty self reports
  • Focus Groups
  • Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET)

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Use Gathered Information


  •  Interpret data
  •  Make evidence based decisions
  •  Implement changes
  •  Celebrate

BEAVERS Learning Outcome Tracking System:

Repository of all College and Department Annual Assessment Reports

Restricted Access (only to members of University Assessment Council)

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Contact Info

500 Kerr Admin. Bldg
Corvallis, OR 97331
Ph: 541-737-7463 | Fax: 541-737-8082

APAA Staff
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