Theological school deans are not just theological leaders for their institution, they must be EDUCATIONAL leaders. That is, they must implement sound educational practices related to curriculum, instruction, supervision, assessment, and administration. There is a variety of ways to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum, and there are several levels of assessment (program-level, course-level, student testing, student projects, etc.). While faculty members can focus on course-level and individual student learning assessment, academic deans need to focus on program-level assessment in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the school's curricular course of study. Here are ten basic curriculum assessment tools every academic dean needs:
Outcomes alignment worksheet
Syllabus assessment worksheet
Program retention and completion rate worksheets
Grade Distribution report
Entering student profile
Graduating class profile
Academic programs profile.
In this series we will review these ten assessment tools every dean needs.
1. The Outcomes Alignment Worksheet
Aligning program-level outcomes with course-level learning objectives is a basic component of curriculum design. An outcome alignment tool can help the academic dean answer these basic questions:
1. Does the course of study (the curriculum) result in the desired, published, outcomes?
2. Do course work and curricular components overtly support the realization of the outcomes?
3. What student products will we use to assess educational effectiveness?
4. Do program-level goals translate to demonstrable learning outcomes?
5. Are learning outcomes and program goals grounded in an informed taxonomy of learning?
6. Where in the course of study are situated the learning experiences or activities that are aligned with program goals and learning objectives?
The attached sample Outcomes Alignment Worksheet can be adapted to your programs of study. Use the worksheet to plot the alignment of course-level learning objectives to program-level goals. This worksheet identifies five types of student products for use in assessing learning outcomes. You can add additional, or, identify different types depending on your program of study.
Israel Galindo is Associate Dean, Lifelong Learning at the Columbia Theological Seminary. Galindo writes for the "Along the Journey" blog of the Columbia Theological Seminary, and, the Digital Flipchart blog. His most recent books are Mastering the Art of Instruction: The Nine Essential Instructional Skills Every Teacher Must Master, Stories of the Desert Fathers: Wit And Wisdom for Today's Bewildering Times, Seeking the Holy: An Introduction to the History and Practice of Spiritual Direction for Today's Churches, and Theories of Learning: Approaches to Teaching and Learning for Christian Educators and Theological Faculty