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Assessment Plans

Plans for gathering evidence of student learning might include institution-wide or program-specific approaches that convey how student learning will be assessed, the data collection tools and approaches that will be used, and the timeline for implementation.

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. (2021). NILOA Assessment Plans

UW Assessment Plan for Student Learning

The UW Assessment Plan for Student Learning was drafted by the ECTL Assessment Team (Associate Director, Dr. Samuel Shearer, Assessment/SoTL Specialist, Heather Webb Springer, and Assessment Data Analyst, Jake Hayden) in May 2021.

faculty and students sitting at a table working


The purpose of this plan is to articulate UW’s strategic, structured, and continuous assessment processes for its stakeholders, which include prospective and current students and their parents; alumni; faculty, staff, and administrators; board of trustees; regulatory bodies; and employers. This plan outlines how UW is using assessment results to improve student learning and addresses how it is meeting the following three HLC assessment requirements listed under Core Component 4.B.: 

  1. “The institution has effective processes for assessment of student learning and for achievement of learning goals in academic and cocurricular offerings. 

  2. The institution uses the information gained from assessment to improve student learning

  3. The institution’s processes and methodologies to assess student learning reflect good practice, including the substantial participation of faculty, instructional and other relevant staff members.” (The Higher Learning Commission- North Central Association, 2019) 

The previous UW assessment plan and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment’s (NILOA) Transparency Framework are the guiding documents in the creation of this updated assessment plan. 

Institutional Assessment Process 

The assessment process runs on an annual cycle and follows the academic calendar. The process is as follows:

Assessment Coordinators: 

  • Each college will appoint an Assessment Coordinator to assist with assessment activities within the college and its programs. Assessment Coordinators will be expected to serve at a minimum of 2-years. No more than one third of Assessment Coordinators may cycle off the team during an academic year to allow for a stable assessment team and proper assessment training. 

  • The Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning (ECTL) Assessment Team will provide assessment training to newly appointed Assessment Coordinators.  

  • Assessment Coordinators are an integral part of assessment activities, assessment training and support services, and ongoing efforts to create a transparent and useful assessment program at UW.  

Assessment Activities: 

  • The UW assessment team will use program-level assessment surveys to establish an understanding of tier levels among all programs at UW. The team will release the survey in April each year, with a requested completion by the end of May. Participation in the program-level assessment survey will be determined by Program Tier Level (program tier levels will be established based on program-level assessment survey results from 2022).  The team will publish the program-level assessment survey results by the end of August that same year.  

  • The UW assessment team will utilize an annual dean-level assessment culture survey to gauge the assessment culture within departments at UW. This survey will be open between September and October each year.  

  • The UW assessment coordinators will conduct program-level interviews throughout each academic year. Dean and department heads will identify program leads for the assessment coordinators to interview, and the interviews will provide program leads an opportunity to discuss strengths and areas for assessment support and improvement.  

  • Each program will participate in an annual program-level assessment project. These projects need not be overly complex and can span several years. The program lead will provide updates on the project each year. Program-level assessment projects will be submitted in September and discussed/revisited at the end of that same academic year (April/May).  

  • See table below for information on Assessment Activities and timelines.  



Program-Level Assessment Survey  

(Based on Tier Level - April) 

Dean-Level Culture Survey  

(Annually - September/October) 

Program-Level Interviews (Annually) 

Program-Level Projects (Annually - August) 

Tier 1 

Every three years 

Tier 2 

Every two years 

Tier 3 



Transparency and Support: 

  • Two priorities for the Assessment Team are to provide an assessment process that is both transparent and supportive.  

  • Transparency will be captured through implementing standardized processes and publishing reports and findings both to departments and programs, as well as on the UW Assessment website.  

  • Support will be accomplished by responding to needs indicated in assessment survey data through workshops and opportunities for intentional conversations about assessment.

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1000 E. University, Dept. 3334

Coe Library 510

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307)766-4847


The John P. "Jack" Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Wyoming.

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