Closing the Loop

Closing the loop, as it relates to assessment, refers to using assessment results to improve student learning or other student outcomes. This includes making plans and taking actions based on clearly presented assessment data, and then following up on whether those actions lead to improvement.

Actions may include anything form concluding that student achievement of learning outcomes meets expectations, to making substantial changes program curriculum or pedagogy.

Some ways to improve student learning include:

Improving Curriculum

  • Revise or develop of new assignments to more specifically address an SLO(s)
  • Update equipment used in instruction
  • Add a capstone project or course
  • Re-sequence courses to introduce or reinforce program learning outcomes earlier (align curriculum)
  • Add prerequisites or entrance requirements
  • Eliminate courses that do not support program outcomes or have unintentionally redundant curriculum

Improving Teaching

  • Spend more or less instructional time on a particular topic
  • Enhance active learning (pdf)
  • Utilize or incorporate more classroom assessment techniques (CATs)
  • Incorporate more formative assessments prior to summative assessments
  • Utilize technology more effectively
  • Implement best practices from professional development sessions
  • Establish a system of faculty mentoring

Improving Support for Teaching and Learning

  • Provide support for additional training professional development opportunities
  • Provide additional or a new model of tutoring
  • Provide or increase student access to open labs, the Learning Commons, computer labs, etc.
  • Develop or refer students to online videos or tutorials
  • Provide recitation sections

Improving Assessment

  • Revise the assessment instrument to better match SLOs
  • Revise and improve course or program learning outcomes
  • Revise the department’s timeline for assessment