Loyola University Chicago

Division of Student Development

Assessment Planning

The following is the division of student development's assessment plan adapted and model after the “Steps in the Assessment Process” in Assessment Practice in Student Affairs, an Application Manual. This plan should serve as the guiding document or check list for departments as they conduct their annual assessment initiatives. The student development assessment plan is a recommended and encouraged plan for departments as they plan their individual assessment initiatives.

Step 1: Define the Problem

Why are you doing this assessment?
What is the program or learning outcome that you are assessing?
What is the mission or goal of this assessment?

Step 2: Determine the Purpose of the Study

What information do you need to solve the problem?
What component or components are you trying to assess?

Step 3: Determine Where to Get the Information Needed

Are students the only source of gathering the information you need?
What other ways can you gather information?
Who are the other potential partners or focus of your assessment?

Step 4: Determine the Best Assessment Methods

Which of the three assessment methods are you going to utilize?
- Qualitative
- Quantitative
- A combination of the two

Step 5: Determine Who to Study

Which group of students do you need to assess to achieve your goal?
Are you collecting a diverse sample of the student population?
Is your sample a random sampling of students? Does it need to be?

Step 6: Determine How Data Will Be Collected

Are you doing focus groups?
Are you using a survey or questionnaire?
Are you conducting individual interviews?

Step 7: Determine What Instruments Will Be Used

Based on your assessment method which instrument is the most appropriate?
Is there an already established instrument that you can use?
Do you need to create your own instrument?
What instrument will best yield the information you need to solve the problem?

Step 8: Determine Who Should Collect the Data

Is your staff the most appropriate choice to collect the data? Do you need a third party?
Will the collector of the data sway or influence the data that is being collected?

Step 9: Determine How the Data will be Analyzed

Which statistical analyses are most appropriate based on the methods you selected?
What is the meaning behind the data that you collect?
What are the themes, trends, generalizations?

Step 10: Determine the Implications of the Study for Policy and Practice

What action needs to be taken with the information you've gathered?
What policies and practices need to be revised or created because of the findings?

Step 11: Report the Results Effectively

By following these steps your department has put together a comprehensive overview of your assessment practices for the division's annual report. What other ways can you report the results of your findings?