What is assessment?
CNU has made a commitment to your education and has set goals for what you should know and what you should be able to do with what you know when you graduate. Assessment is a way of evaluating our efforts toward that commitment through the use of tests, performance evaluations, and surveys. Assessment supplies valuable information to the university about how students are doing and what they think.

Why do I have to be assessed?
In order to evaluate our programs effectively we need input from as many of our students as possible. Research of this kind requires a fair representation of students in all the majors and the Liberal Learning courses, as well as the four classes (first years, sophomores, etc.). By gathering information from the incoming class, we can better evaluate change over time.

How will this affect me?
Assessment activities will not affect your GPA, your grade in a class, or your placement in courses. These activities will give you opportunities both to show what you can do and to express your opinions. 

Does everyone have to do this?
At several points during your four years at CNU you will be asked to participate in an assessment activity, either about your Liberal Learning courses or as part of your major field of study. We expect students to participate in assessment activities and have included statements in the Student Handbook to remind you of the expectation.

How much time will this take?
Considering how much useful information is generated from assessment activities, these projects take surprisingly little time. For example, the Liberal Learning during Welcome Week of fall orientation and the follow-up in the 2nd week of March of the junior year take about 60 minutes for a test and 15 minutes for a survey. You will probably spend less than two hours a year on assessment, but the results are extremely important to your department, the University, and you.

Who will see the results?
Faculty and administrators see the results of various assessment projects but with no identifying names or CNU ID numbers. Though we need to ask for these to verify student status or to match responses to student database information (GPA, admission test scores, etc.), we always remove any identifying information before reporting the results. All assessment data are treated confidentially.

back to top

"Effective assessment is thus not an intrusive burden but an opportunity to provide students with an even better education than they are now receiving." (Linda Suskie, 2007) The goal of assessment is not information gathering. The goal is to improve the learning experience through decisions about curriculum, instruction, and programs such as undergraduate research and service learning. In the long run, assessment provides students an active role in improving the quality of their own degrees.

BECAUSE ASSESSMENT can provide information about the knowledge and skills students have as they enter a course

FACULTY CAN design instruction to target the knowledge and skill levels students should have upon finishing a course and better determine the levels of thinking or reasoning appropriate for the course.

BECAUSE ASSESSMENT can provide reliable data on student learning…

FACULTY CAN reply less on the comments that appear on student evaluations as indicators of their success in teaching.

BECAUSE ASSESSMENT can make available richer data about the effects of the curriculum or teaching methods…

FACULTY CAN engage in more productive conversations about the status of student achievement and make better decisions about how it might be improved.

BECAUSE ASSESSMENT can yield more reliable data about instruction…

FACULTY CAN make reliable decisions about innovations or experimental projects in instruction and share successes more easily.

BECAUSE ASSESSMENT can provide evidence that faculty make a difference in student learning. . .

FACULTY CAN enjoy greater satisfaction in their work as educators.

BECAUSE ASSESSMENT can offer a larger view of student needs and accomplishments…

FACULTY CAN identify directions for future instructional development.