Student Learning Assessment

Assessment is the continuous process of collecting, analyzing, and utilizing data to understand and improve student learning. Assessment serves as a tool for educators to improve curriculum and instruction and it ensures consistent learning expectations apply to all programs, courses, general education, and co-curricular areas of the College. It is also a critical component of Institutional Effectiveness, and a requirement of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and other accrediting bodies. Finally, assessment demonstrates OCC’s high academic standards to students, transfer institutions, employers, and other stakeholders.

At OCC there are Institutional Learning Outcomes, General Education Outcomes, Program Outcomes, Common Course Outcomes (including co-curricular outcomes) that are connected to course lessons/objectives.

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Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) represent educational values of the College and describe knowledge, skills, and abilities that all OCC graduates should develop through their overall experience at the College. Each OCC graduate should be exposed to curricular and/or co-curricular learning opportunities associated with all ILOs. The ILOs at Oakland Community College are:

  • Graduates will display knowledge and appreciation of diverse human cultures and environments.
    • This ILO is assessed through multiple methods connected to dimensions of OCC's General Education Outcomes of Global Understanding & Responsibility and Aesthetic Awareness.
  • Graduates will apply foundational skills.
    • This ILO is assessed through multiple methods connected to dimensions of OCC's General Education Outcomes of Effective Communication- Oral & Written, Quantitative Literacy, Information Literacy, Scientific Literacy & Critical Thinking.
  • Graduates will demonstrate personal and social responsibility.
    • This ILO is assessed through multiple methods connected to dimensions of OCC's General Education Outcomes of Social Responsibility & Personal Development.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs) support the foundation of the ILOs and describe knowledge, skills, and abilities that OCC students should develop after completing general education coursework. There can be considerable overlap between ILOs and GEOs; however, unlike ILOs, students will encounter at least one GEO dimension in each course but may not be exposed to learning opportunities associated with all GEOs through their program or studies. 

Program Outcomesdescribe knowledge, skills, and abilities that OCC students should develop after completing a particular program at OCC. Program outcomes are often cumulative outcomes that reflect student learning achieved across multiple courses within a program. 

Common Course Outcomes (CCOs)describe knowledge, skills, and abilities that OCC students should develop after completing a particular course. At least one CCO in each course is mapped to a GEO.

Course/Lesson Objectives describe concepts or topics taught in a particular course or lesson. Data on student learning of course/lesson objectives is collected at the course level and are intended to support and map to the hierarchy of learning outcomes detailed above.

 Assessment Diagram

Student Learning Assessment follows a continues quality improvement cycle. As such, faculty develop assessment plans to measure student learning on developed outcomes. Plans for each outcome include a specific benchmark (learning target), assessment method (rubrics, exams, papers, activities, etc.), and an assessment frequency.   After assessment plans are complete, faculty and administration manage student learning assessment data through the Assessment Results Tracking Information System (ARTIS). When student learning falls below the learning target action plans to improve curriculum, pedagogy or the assessment plan are developed and then tracked to be sure the action is effective in increasing student learning.

Who is Involved in Student Learning Assessment at OCC?

Assessment at OCC is a collaborative process involving faculty and staff, with student learning and student success as the core focus. OCC faculty take the lead in developing learning outcomes (goals) and implementing assessment activities across the College to measure student learning. The Student Outcomes Assessment Committee (SOAC) is an advisory committee of faculty and staff committed to continuous improvement of student learning at the College. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and SOAC provide support to OCC faculty in all assessment-related matters. The College supports assessment further by employing faculty assessment facilitators and program/student learning coordinators as identified leaders for student learning assessment in their respective programs or disciplines.  

SOAC exists to collaborate with OCC faculty, staff, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (IE) to help lead, shape, and support the implementation of student learning outcomes and assessment at all levels of the institution.

Student Learning Assessment Data 

At OCC, faculty and administration manage student learning assessment data through the Assessment Results Tracking Information System (ARTIS). ARTIS is a transactional website developed by OCC that program/student learning coordinators (faculty and staff), academic deans, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness use to manage all aspects of student learning assessment. ARTIS also supports transparency of student learning assessment data by displaying outcomes, plans, findings, and actions in an assessment dashboard; this dashboard is available to everyone employed by the College via the College’s intranet.