Biblically Centered Education

Evidence of Learning

Direct evidence of student learning is found primarily in the degree program assessment process. Our assessment process is described below. Each degree program’s learning outcomes, assessment tools, and assessment results can be found under the “Program Assessment” link on the left side of this page.

Additional “indirect” evidence of student learning is found in many sources, but a key source for Biola is the NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) Survey. Our most recent survey results are under the “NSSE Survey” link on the left side of this page.

Program Assessment Process

Beginning in 2012, Biola University adopted a continuous improvement model for each of our degree programs. The process is called “Closed-Loop Assessment” (see diagram below). The process begins with a clear mission for each degree program and specific Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for students enrolled in the program.

Our process requires the assessment of at least one PLO per program per year leading up to the program’s Fifth Year Full Program Review. After collecting evidence of learning annually and in the fifth year, a program’s faculty will review and interpret the results as a whole, recommend actions, establish implement plans, and then begin another cycle of assessment.

There are seven building blocks to the program assessment cycle:

  1. Program Mission Statement: The essential purpose of the degree program.
  2. Program Learning Outcomes: What we want students to be able to do–in terms of knowledge, skills, and values–when they complete the program.
  3. Program Curriculum Map: How courses are aligned in the program to address each PLO and where (that is, in which course) learning toward each PLO will be introduced, developed, and mastered in the program.
  4. PLO Assessment Plan: The tests, coursework, standards of performance, evaluation criteria, and rubrics to be used to assess student achievement of learning outcomes.
  5. Program Assessment Schedule: The 5-year schedule for annual PLO assessments and full program review.
  6. Annual PLO Assessment Report: Annual reports from a year’s assessment activity, analysis of results, and recommendations for program improvement.
  7. Five-Year Full Program Review Report: Reports from each full program review and resulting recommendations for program improvement. Full program reviews require assessment of several key success factors beyond student achievement of learning outcomes.
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