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Oklahoma State University

Frequently Asked Questions about Assessment

Listed below are answers to common assessment questions. If you have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact your College Assessment Coordinator or the Office of University Assessment and Testing.


A. No, the use of appropriate sampling strategies is encouraged.

A. Yes, assessment should be an ongoing, continuous part of the life of the program and Assessment Reports should be submitted on an annual basis. However, you do not have to assess every student learning outcome every year. Programs with many student learning outcomes may rotate between assessing different learning outcomes in different years (unless required by your program's accreditor). Programs with smaller enrollments may wish to implement the same assessment methods for several years in a row in order to collect sufficient data for making decisions about program changes. Assessment should be done in a way that is meaningful and manageable and provides the program with clear information about whether or not students are achieving the desired learning outcomes. Plans for assessing different outcomes over different years should be defined in your program's Assessment Plan.

A. There is no single "best" assessment method that will work for all programs and all learning outcomes. Programs should seek out direct assessment methods (methods that ask students to demonstrate achievement like a capstone project) instead of indirect methods (methods, like a survey, that ask students what they think they learned). It is our experience that direct assessment methods provide better evidence for implementing program improvements than indirect methods. Many programs have been successful using capstone projects (presentations, performances, theses, research papers, etc.), portfolios, course-embedded assessments (research papers, projects, etc.), internship or practicum evaluations, or use of professional jurors or evaluators.

A. Access to current Assessment Plans and Reports is available here.

A. Assessment Coordinators are faculty members who work with their colleagues in their department to implement (or develop) their program's Assessment Plan and submit annual Assessment Reports. The Assessment Coordinator is also responsible for submitting requests for assessment funding. Although assessment is the responsibility of all faculty members in a program, the Assessment Coordinator is the point person who works to see that assessment is implemented.

A. Implement (or develop) an Assessment Plan and summarize an assessment activity in an Annual Assessment Report.

A. See the details for requesting assessment funds on the Funding Request page. Assessment at OSU is funded through student fees paid by OSU undergraduate and graduate students (not including the College of Veterinary Medicine or the College of Osteopathic Medicine).

A. The Higher Learning Commission requires engagement in assessment as a means of continuous improvement and expects assessment to be focused on student learning. As a condition of accreditation, the Higher Learning Commission requires evidence that assessment data are used to improve teaching, learning, and other student services and that faculty members are committed to assessment and improving student achievement.

A. The Assessment requirements for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education are currently under revision. In general, OSU is required to assess student achievement and provide an annual report to the regents on our assessment activity. More information on program outcomes assessment from the OSU Assessment and Academic Improvement Council (AAIC) is available here.

A. For examples of Assessment Plans and Reports, please see Plan and Report Guidelines.

A. Access to archived Assessment Plans and Reports is available here.

This Assessment Website is the best location to find information about assessment activities at Oklahoma State University.  Additional contact information is available by clicking the "Contact Us" link at the top right of this page.

A. Students are notified about University assessment activities in the University Catalog.  Assessment results are available online on this website.