Biennial Reporting Form
Elaborated Guidance for Programs and Departments

Departments need to complete only one form that reports on all programs (major, minor, emphases) within that department
if they all have the same student learning outcomes.

Departments that have distinct programs with different student learning outcomes need to complete a report for each distinct program (undergraduate and graduate programs in the same discipline should be treated as distinct programs)

Here are some model Biennial Reporting Forms from the 2010-2012 cycle:

Below are the SLOs and further clarification of each component needed for each reporting form:

Student Learning Outcomes Component Clarification
List ALL of the
(SLOs) IDENTIFIED for the program/department. 

(if multiple SLOs are elaborated under major categories, please share a hyperlink to a location where they may be found online.)

In this section, please indicate all of the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) associated with the program.

Information on writing clear SLOs is available here:

 Writing Course Objectives

 How to Write Student Learning Outcomes

Identify the SPECIFIC

(Must be a subset of the comprehensive listing of SLOs identified in the row above.)

To help make the process of assessment manageable and meaningful, it is recommended that departments set up a plan to collect information on a subset of their SLOs within each biennium, then cycle through their list of SLOs such that the program/department will have reviewed each outcome in preparation for Academic Program Review.

If your program/department maintains some external accreditation guidelines that requires your SLOs be accessed more frequently, please follow those guidelines.

Direct and Indirect Measures Component Clarification
Describe the
used to evaluate these student learning outcomes.

(All programs should be taking advantage of direct measures to assess their SLOs.  Programs may include using a combination of direct and indirect measures.)

Please list the direct measures your program/department used to assess your SLOs during the biennium.  Assessment measures need to be described in sufficient detail to indicate how the SLO identified was measured. Direct measures are defined as those methods that collect information “directly” from student work that would demonstrate the skills, knowledge, or attitudes/dispositions.

Examples may include processes that extract information from student papers, artworks, or presentations. Performance in exams might be a source of information if collections of questions are reviewed as they specifically relate to a specific SLO.

Some examples and definitions of direct and indirect assessments:

Examples of Direct and Indirect Measures of Student Learning

Common Assessment Terms

Glossary of Assessment Terms

Describe the
used to evaluate these student learning outcomes.

Please list the indirect measures your program/department used in the biennium.  Indirect measures are those that make use of student, employer, or alumni perceptions of the impact of the curriculum on the SLOs. 

Examples may include surveys, graduate school admission rates, and/or students' self-reported gains in learning.  These measures will also need to be described in sufficient detail to indicate how the SLO was measured.  The combination of both direct and indirect measures may provide for a more complete understanding of student achievement.

Briefly describe the PROCESS your program/department used TO COLLECT, ANALYZE, AND SHARE assessment results.

In this area, a summary of how the department or program faculty reviewed the information from the direct and indirect assessment tools, the actions the program took to analyze the information, and how program faculty were involved in the />

While it is acceptable to have designated coordinators within a program that facilitate the assessment process, it is typically through broad-based discussions among multiple faculty members that the fullest benefits of the assessment are gained.  Having multiple faculty members involved in the collection of data also breeds better buy-in and use of the information.

Summarize the MAJOR FINDINGS and RESULTS of assessment of these student learning outcomes from Fall 2012 through June 2014.

Please share the results of the specific outcomes (skills, knowledge, attitudes) you assessed in the biennium as well as the interpretation or meaning of these results to the program. This may include outcomes that students struggled with or those that they demonstrated competence in, or those in which there was mixed levels of achievement.

One suggestion for completion of this section may be to identify patterns of successful or unsuccessful performance that emerge across the students in your program.  If unsuccessful patterns emerge, this may indicate a need to address these performance issues by adapting courses and curriculum to better suit student needs or conducting more detailed assessment to resolve why students aren't succeeding.

Another suggestion may be to divide the content of the section in terms of the results from 2012-13, and then  2013-14.  Reflections by program faculty, interpretations of the results, or any insights into what might explain these results could be placed here as well.

It is not expected that your results will indicate perfect achievement of the outcomes. It is expected that the results of the assessment will be discussed by and acted upon by the program to encourage learning.

Identify and explain specific ACTIONS INTENDED TO IMPROVE STUDENT LEARNING AND PROGRAM QUALITY undertaken by the department/program in response to the results from your measures of student learning outcomes.

It is not expected that your results will indicate perfect achievement of the outcomes. It is expected that the results of the assessment will be discussed by and acted upon by the program to encourage learning. Based on the major results discussed in the previous question, this section is requesting the program to highlight what was done to improve learning or sustain the satisfactory level of student learning related to the outcomes that were assessed.

If the results indicated acceptable student achievement of the outcomes, its permissible to explain that the course(s) or curriculum supporting that outcome will be maintained.

If there is room for improvement in student learning related to the outcomes, then explaining the changes made in the course(s) or curriculum or other learning experiences offered to students (research colloquia, student internships, etc.) to address these learning deficiencies would be an appropriate focus for the content of this section.

In light of these current biennium results, briefly describe the GENERAL DIRECTION your assessment process may take in the NEXT BIENNIUM.

Results from the current biennium may also indicate desired improvements to the assessment process as well as directing new targets for assessment. Programs may find it useful to follow up on changes made to courses or curriculum with focused assessment to see the impact of their modifications. This may be the nature of the text of this section for your program.

Information also appropriate to this section would be an explanation of the cycle that a program may already have in place to cycle through the set of program outcomes over a period of time such that all outcomes will be addressed  in a program review cycle.

It is important to emphasize the idea that assessment is an ongoing process. This is the rationale for asking programs to indicate the direction their processes may take. Indication of a direction here is not binding upon the department, but indicating that the program is aware of their next steps for their process.

Please share EXAMPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE that would be worthy of further dissemination beyond your program (optional)

Programs and departments that have developed useful techniques for their own assessment processes are requested to share successful ideas and examples from which other units on campus could learn from or adopt to improve assessment campus-wide.


Assessment Process Diagram

Return to the Programmatic and Course Assessment page.

For questions concerning assessment, contact University Assessment Coordinator Dr. Patrick Barlow