Adventures in Assessing Student Learning Outcomes

Concurrent Session 6

Brief Abstract

With more colleges and universities relying on multiple adjuncts and new faculty, how can we demonstrate that students are learning the same concepts across the curricula? Join us as we share our experiences and challenges in the development and implementation of a student learning outcomes assessment plan.

Sponsored By


Scott Wright is an Instructional Designer for the University of Arkansas's Global Campus. He works primarily with faculty in the College of Education and Health Professions to develop effective, engaging instruction for a variety of both undergraduate and graduate programs in the online environment. Scott is a Quality Matters Certified Peer Reviewer. Additionally, he is involved with the university's OER Initiative and Incentive Program. Prior to his work with the University of Arkansas, Scott served as a course developer and faculty trainer with the ITTC Faculty Center at Arkansas State University. He received his bachelor's degree in Digital Media and Design from Arkansas State University and his M.Ed. in Educational Technology from the University of Arkansas.

Additional Authors

Elaine Terrell has been involved in distance education since 1999. She was the first instructional designer at the University of Arkansas to develop online courses and has continued to work in this area for the past 18 years. Her current work focuses on how to produce better outcomes for students in semester based online courses, self-paced online courses, and even in face-to-face courses delivered on campus.

Extended Abstract

Developing a plan for assessment, evaluation, and documentation of student learning at the course, program and accreditation levels is a critical, yet challenging process. It can be all the more daunting with adjuncts and new faculty teaching multiple versions of the same course. Where do we begin? What criteria or requirements should be evaluated first? How do we readily collect the data necessary to support the achievement of these national benchmarks that are paramount in the accreditation process?


This session will demonstrate how we developed and implemented a plan for assessment, evaluation, and documentation of student learning at the course and program levels for our college of nursing’s RN to BSN online program. One of the first challenges was to determine which benchmarks needed to be evaluated following the results of the accreditation review. will explore how the first benchmarks were chosen for evaluation. Another critical component was the selection of course assessments that best aligned with the chosen benchmarks. Scoring rubrics were constructed for the program criteria to be evaluated. This project is currently in progress. The formal evaluation sessions will begin in the fall 2018 semester. The presenters will outline the details of the development of the plan and discuss the advances in the implementation phase. We will also share our next steps in the process.


Session participants will:

  • Examine the components involved in the creation of a plan for the assessment, evaluation, and documentation of student learning outcomes at the course and program levels.
  • Gain insight into the selection of course assessments for alignment with selected benchmarks.
  • Explore the strategies of adapting or creating a scoring rubric for chosen artifacts.
  • Examine the barriers and strategies to overcome them in the creation and implementation of a plan for assessing student learning outcomes across a curriculum.
  • Interact beyond the presentation for additional discussion and collaboration.