Using Learning Outcome Data to Inform and Improve Curriculum, Instruction and Student Achievement

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Assessing student learning allows institutions to identify student achievement and learning gaps, and improve curriculum and teaching efficiency.  This presentation will examine the use of multiple assessment tools to measure learning outcome trends, and describe collaboration between faculty and assessment teams to improve curriculum and faculty engagement in the classroom.


Nichole Perri​​​​​​​ is an Assessment Specialist for Ashford University and serves Ashford's College of Liberal Arts. She graduated from UC San Diego with degrees in Political Science and Communications. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Organizational Management at Ashford. As an Assessment Specialist she compiles, interprets and reports on academic data collected associated with accreditation, curriculum development, curriculum evaluation, learning outcomes, and other institutional and instructional areas. She also supports faculty by providing useful data that constructively informs curricular and programmatic changes.

Additional Authors

Dr. Mingzhen Bao, Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts at Ashford University, received her PhD in Linguistics with a focus on Phonetics and Second Language Acquisition from University of Florida. Prior to Ashford, Dr. Bao served as an Assistant Professor and the Director of Chinese Language Instruction at University of Kentucky. Her research experience includes discoveries on speech prosody of tonal languages in East and Southeast Asia, exploration into acoustic properties of under-documented languages in West Africa and Pamir Mountains, behavioral and psycholinguistic studies of tonal acquisition and processing, teaching pedagogy in foreign language instruction, and teaching and learning in distance education.

Extended Abstract

Assessment is often seen as a way to appease accreditors, yet there is much information assessment data can provide an institution, its faculty, and ultimately its students.  Assessing student learning allows institutions to identify student achievement and learning gaps, and improve curriculum and teaching efficiency. It is important that assessment specialists and faculty work collaboratively to design assessment plans, interpret findings, and implement curriculum and instructional enhancements that ultimately help students achieve their learning outcomes.

This presentation will examine a variety of assessment tools and resources including:

  • Waypoint: An assessment and grading software.
  • Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs), Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs), Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) Findings: Reports containing information on student performance for CLOs, PLOs and ILOs, derived from Waypoint data and outcome mapping.

Followed by a discussion on outcome measures, curricular changes and faculty-student engagement.  Examples of data-driven interventions will be described when learning targets are met or not met. Finally, the importance of cross departmental collaboration is addressed in the assessment process. 


  • Live demonstration of how to use Waypoint.
  • Group discussions on how institutions engage faculty in the assessment process.

Key Takeaways

  • Assessment data allows institutions to make meaningful and impactful changes at the course, program, and institutional level.
  • Faculty work in collaboration with assessment specialists to develop data-driven strategies in order to improve curriculum, instruction and student learning.