Indiana University South Bend Assessment Committee Plan-2013

The mission of the Indiana University South Bend Assessment Committee is to promote, support and monitor academic program assessment activities at the university.

Commitment to Assessment

The Indiana University South Bend Assessment Committee grew from the University’s strong commitment to providing the best possible education for its students. In 1995 the Assessment Committee developed an ambitious plan for implementing and monitoring assessment of student learning in all campus departments and for the Committee’s own activities and governance. This document, IUSB Plan for Assessing Student Achievement, was submitted to and approved by the NCA, the (then) accrediting body of IU South Bend.

Since the inception of the assessment committee at IU South Bend, there have been major developments in the scholarship of assessment. Emphasis has changed from mere recordkeeping to using assessment information to improve programs and document the learning of students as they progress through academic programs. Assessment processes have matured in all of our academic departments, and the Assessment Committee has been able to change its focus
from implementing formal assessment processes to supporting academic departments as they further develop and creatively implement best practices for their programs. Although the Assessment Committee continues to feel strongly that individual departments are in the best position to establish learning goals, student learning outcomes and determine the most appropriate assessment tools, the Assessment Committee supports and promotes their efforts in a number of different ways. The committee provides regular feedback on the campus assessment process, sponsors workshops and conferences and provides grants to support new assessment activities.

Over time, the expectations of government and accreditation bodies have intensified as well, demanding greater accountability and evidence of the value of the education that students are receiving.

Advances in technology and software have resulted in major changes in the way assessment is being documented and reported. Forward thinking academic institutions created software which allowed institutions to standardize the reporting process and easily generate reports for accrediting and other bodies. Several of these have become commercially available. In 2012, the South Bend campus, along with the other regional IU campuses invested in web management software This technology will both simplify assessment reporting and bring the process into line with other IU campuses.

In order to reflect the changes in philosophy and practice that have evolved in the last two decades, the IU South Bend Assessment Committee completely revised the plan which directs the activities of the Committee in 2007, and again in 2013. This document outlines the current structure and activities, and provides a foundation for the Committee’s work in the years to come.

In writing this plan, the Assessment Committee would like to re-commit to its role in realizing IU South Bend’s goal of assuring that its students meet the challenging learning goals set by the University system, the campus and academic departments.