Outcomes Assessment at The University of Iowa
UI has a longstanding commitment to the success of our students and excellence in undergraduate education. Outcomes assessment at UI is designed to support that commitment by having each program develop its own set of discipline-specific, department-based strategies for examining student learning and success in the program. On an annual basis, departments are asked to report lessons learned and actions taken based on their assessment efforts.
In recent years, UI's longstanding commitment to excellence has been brought into focus as the UI Strategic Plan, the Iowa Board of Regents, and the Higher Learning Commission have all placed an emphasis on student learning and success, using assessment as a means to the end of identifying and improving the quality of our programs.
Recognizing Student Learning and Success
Departments can use outcomes assessment to give more visibility and recognition to the learning that occurs as students integrate knowledge and skills across courses and over time, both within and beyond the classroom.
This program-level view of student learning can be a valuable supplement to the course-level view of student learning that individual faculty members see at the time they are teaching their courses. Lessons learned from outcomes assessment can:
- Give departments information about the effects of their programs, which provides a basis for ongoing decisions about curriculum, teaching, and learning
- Let faculty see how student learning in their particular courses relates to student learning in the program as a whole
- Help students understand what to expect from their overall undergraduate experience, which helps them assess their own progress and effectiveness as learners
- Support peer review of departments and programs, and prepare them to demonstrate student learning for external reviewers, grant foundations, and accrediting agencies
- Show community members what students are learning at UI, and how faculty members and departments are supporting their students
For additional background information on Outcomes Assessment at UI, see