Assurance of Learning Assessment
The assessment initiative at the Kelley School of Business is framed by both the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) mandate to conduct assurance of learning assessment for accreditation purposes and the school’s desire to create a program that is faculty-friendly and faculty-oriented.
AACSB Eligibility Standards for business accreditation (standards 15 – 21) acknowledge assessment of student learning as part of the curriculum management process. Schools must define learning goals, assess student achievement for those goals, and utilize what is learned through assessment to continually improve the curricula for their programs. More specifically,
Learning goals that align with the school’s mission and include both general and management-specific knowledge and skills must be articulated for each degree-granting program. Each program should have four to ten such goals.
Student performance on the articulated goals must be assessed systematically and regularly through direct observation and evaluation of student work or performance. The use of representative samples of students for assessment purposes is permitted.
Assessment results must be analyzed, disseminated, and utilized by the faculty for the purpose of curriculum planning and the improvement of teaching and learning.
Faculty are expected to be actively involved in all stages of the assessment process including defining goals, aligning the curriculum, developing appropriate measures, implementing course-embedded measures, and improving the school’s curriculum.
Accordingly, the Kelley School of Business has used these requirements to guide its assurance of learning assessment initiative from its inception.
While the AACSB’s requirements for Assurance of Learning lay out the principles for a comprehensive assessment program, they must be supplemented by operative principles that guide the initiative with respect to each school’s local context and especially with respect to the people – i.e., the faculty – who will be performing the assessments. Given the already-heavy workloads of faculty, the suspicion of the new that academics typically hold, general skepticism of the need for learning outcomes assessment in the first place (we’re a big name business school; why do we have to do this?), and fears that administration is simply looking for a way to monitor everyone’s teaching, it is no surprise that faculty would push back when asked to implement a learning outcomes assessment initiative. Cognizant of these probable reservations on the part of the faculty, whose participation is essential to the success of the school’s assessment initiative, the Kelley School of Business remains committed to making the process of assessment as easy and useful to faculty and as faculty-centered as possible. This principle guides all interactions with faculty and sets the tone for assessment initiative.