Skip to main content
Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning - George Mason University



Student Learning Outcomes Assessment – Best Practices

Assessing student learning outcomes is a process that is best done by faculty in the academic program. Learning outcomes are discipline-specific, and are appropriate to the degree level.
Best practices* in assessing learning outcomes include:
Clearly articulated statements of expected student learning outcomes

A systematic, well-documented assessment process

Assessment results must provide convincing evidence that students are achieving learning outcomes

Assessment results are used to inform decision making and program improvement

Strategies for Assessing Student Learning Outcomes
Direct measures are best

Indirect measures can be used, but be careful about what they measure

* Generously drawn from Middaugh, M. F. (2010). Planning and assessment in higher education: Demonstrating institutional effectiveness. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.