Overview and Timeline

Assessment Timeline and Process

Murray State University (MSU) establishes and follows a set of guidelines and criteria to guide the assessment process. In a nutshell, the assessment process at MSU begins within the academic programs and departments, where discussions and decisions are made with regard to outcomes, assessment measures, and achievement targets for a particular academic year. Assessment plans are submitted via SPOL by October 1 of each academic year while assessment reports are due on September 15 of the subsequent year. The University Assessment Committee (UAC) reviews and evaluates both assessment plans and reports using an established rubric to help programs and departments improve their planning and reporting submissions. The assessment process ends and restarts when all changes based on the reported results and analysis are implemented. All these activities are listed in MSU’s assessment timeline (Table 1) which coincides with the MSU’s assessment process (Figure 1). The graphical representation of MSU’s cyclical assessment process exhibits how well-aligned it is with the assessment definition.

Table 1. MSU's Assessment Timeline

Timeline Activity People Responsible
October 1 DUE - Assessment plans to SPOL Assessment Coordinators
October 1 - 31 UAC reviews assessment plans UAC and OIE
Ongoing Implementation of assessment plan Academic Programs and Departments
Last Friday of August (recommended) Assessment Day: Closing the Loop
(within programs/units)
- structure, topics, and activities are determined by the Assessment Coordinator
Academic Programs and Departments
September 15 DUE - Assessment reports to SPOL Assessment Coordinators
September 15 - October 15 UAC reviews assessment reports UAC and OIE
Ongoing Implementation of recommendations and action plans from the assessment report Academic Programs and Departments

Note: If the due date falls on a holiday or weekend, the required activity is due on the following business day.

Figure 1. MSU's Assessment Process

MSU Assessment Process

Assessment Plan and Report Components

To help you become successful with your program or departmental assessment, clarifying the content and focus of an assessment plan and report is an essential step. By understanding what is included in an assessment plan and looking at what you already have in place, you can begin to think about the effective assessment strategies and activities within your academic program or department. Table 2 lists the required components that programs and administrative units are expected to submit within their annual assessment plans and reports via SPOL.

Table 2. Required Annual Assessment Plan and Report Components

Assessment Plan Assessment Report
  1. Multiple measures
    at least one direct measure and one indirect measure for each outcome that a department plans to assess
    at least one formative assessment and one summative assessment for each PLO that a program plans to assess
  2. Criteria for each measure created
  3. Planning process narrative
  1. Findings for each established measure and criteria
  2. Evidentiary documents related to results/findings (optional)
  3. Outcome analysis and use of results narrative
  4. Reporting process narrative


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