Program assessment is critical to determine strengths and weaknesses of student learning. The most creative and innovative teaching methods must be evaluated to determine if they are truly effective in attaining student learning outcomes (SLO). Our university implemented a process for program assessment that our School of Nursing has applied. The program assessment structure included the following eight components: 1) program mission, 2) student learning outcomes, 3) measures, 4) data collection processes, 5) target levels of achievement, 6) findings for each SLO, 7) interpretations of findings, and 8) development and evaluation of action plans. The critical final step of action planning synthesizes all components of the process and is the blueprint for program improvement. Multiple faculties analyze findings and formulate specific teaching/learning strategies and design curriculum modifications to maximize student learning. Examples of implementing this assessment process for a pre-licensure BSN and RN-BSN program will be presented. Gains from implementation will be included including an increased awareness of the importance of program assessment, and the need to revise measures and develop new rubric assessment tools. One critical recommendation is to involve the all faculty in the entire process to promote enculturation of program assessment and faculty ownership of the process.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/melissa_garno/30/