Guiding principles shape the Kelley School's assessment initiative
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 faculty-friendly program.
Assessment must support the school's mission and inform the curriculum
AACSB Eligibility Standards for business accreditation (2013, updated July 1, 2017: Standards 8, 9, and 11) acknowledge assessment of student learning as part of the curriculum management process. Schools must define program competencies, assess student achievement for those competencies, and utilize what is learned through assessment to continually improve the curricula for their programs. More specifically:
- Program competencies 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 competencies. At the Kelley School, four to seven are recommended.
- Student performance on the articulated competencies 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 competencies, aligning the curriculum, developing appropriate measures, implementing course-embedded measures, and improving the school’s curriculum.
Kelley is committed to assessment that is faculty centered
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 as possible. This principle guides all interactions with faculty and sets the tone for assessment initiative.
Here's how—and why—assessment is used at Kelley
The assurance of learning assessment initiative at the Kelley School of Business has several aims, ranging from the micro-level of improving teaching and learning in individual courses to the macro-level of guiding curriculum planning and other program-level decisions and demonstrating accountability to external stakeholders.