Program Assessment

Each program/major at the American University of Beirut is expected to develop and implement a comprehensive program learning outcomes (PLO) assessment plan. This assessment plan should include the learning outcomes for the program/major, the tools and methods used for assessing these program learning outcomes, and a timeline for implementing it during an assessment cycle (for example 3 years).

The following guidelines can be used in the development of the assessment plan:

  • PLO Assessment Plans: Departments will develop PLO assessment plans for each offered program/major. There may be cases where it is more helpful to develop plans at the level of minor/concentrations rather than major. Assessment results should inform program/major improvement, and departments should decide how they can best set up plans to facilitate such improvement.Assessment plans should be simple and easily implementable given the usual resources/constraints. A do-able plan is one in which assessment can be completed in one cycle (example: 3 years).
  • Curriculum Mapping Matrix: This helps identify the list of the courses where each program/major learning outcome is introduced or emphasized, and hence can be used for assessment.
  • Assessment Methods: Ideally, programs/majors are expected to use a variety of assessment methods, including at least one direct and one indirect measure for assessing each learning outcome. Multiple methods can be used to assess each learning outcome in order to assure greater validity of the results. Methods can be active/passive, quantitative/qualitative, and direct/indirect. Capstone courses or senior projects can be used to assess most PLOs using scoring rubrics. Alumni, employers and students surveys can be used as indirect methods of assessment.
  • Communication/Dissemination of PLOs: In order for the plan to be useful, departments are encouraged to communicate and disseminate the program learning outcomes to prospective and current students in addition to all faculty members in the department.
  • PLO Assessment Reports: After collecting the assessment data, an annual assessment report can be prepared and used to present and analyze the data in a formal way. The report can include tables, charts, statistical data analysis, etc. You can follow the PLO Assessment templates provided by AAU. At the end of an assessment cycle (for example on the third year), one report summarizing the whole process will be prepared and disseminated within the department for improvement plans purposes.

Assessment Resources