Program Assessment

The purpose of program assessment is to determine if students are achieving predetermined learning outcomes as a result of enrollment in the program.  The goal of the General Education Program assessment plan is to facilitate faculty led artifact collection, reviews, discussions, and recommendations aimed to improve the design and delivery of the General Education curriculum.

2010-2011 Assessment Overview

The first two years of assessment have provided ample data and insights into the strengths and weaknesses of our current processes. In response to these findings, we have made changes to these processes and have further changes planned for the coming year. We have summarized the process, findings, actions taken and actions planned in the General Education Assessment Report 2010-2011

What are Learning Outcomes?

The General Education Learning Outcomes are skills and abilities that are introduced and developed within the General Education courses. There are a total of twenty-one learning outcomes and each is associated with one of the four General Education Program Goals. 

Learning Outcomes are not course objectives that individual courses are expected to achieve. Each individual course within the General Education Program should help students progress toward achieving some of the outcomes. Each component of the Program is associated with certain outcomes (see chart below).

In the case of the Perspectives themes (Aesthetic, Historical and Social, Local to Global, and Science Inquiry), each theme should strive to address all of the outcomes associated with the Perspective it is in, but each individual course within the theme might address only some of those associated outcomes.


Learning Outcomes and Course Guidelines by Component

First Year Seminar       

Wellness Literacy

Aesthetic Perspective  

Science Inquiry

Writing - Vertical Model   

Historical & Social Perspective

Local to Global Perspective

Quantitative Literacy

Information Literacy is embedded in all aspects of General Education and supported by our Library's initiatives. The programmatic assessment of Information Literacy uses the AAC&U Value Rubric for Information Literacy

Selected Program Learning Outcomes and Rubrics 2010-2012

During the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years, seven of the General Education learning outcomes will be assessed.   To view the seven outcomes, plus the curricular components with which they are associated and the rubrics that will be used by faculty reviewers to assess them, visit the Selected Outcomes and Rubrics.

Science Inquiry Assessment Update and Rubric Pilot

Course Embedded Assessment

Each semester faculty teaching General Education courses are expected to participate in artifact collection for purpose of assessing the General Education Program. Artifacts/assignments are randomly selected from the artifact pool during the assessment review process and, in most cases, no more than a couple artifacts per course section will be reviewed during the assessment process. This is Program level assessment and does not evaluate courses. The assessment method is based on course embedded assignments.

Tips for Creating an Assessable Artifact [pdf 72 KB]

Blooms Taxonomy

Faculty Participation in Program Assessment

There are four methods for faculty to participate in the programmatic assessment of General Education:

1. Faculty can use the AsULearn course management system to tag General Education outcomes associated with a specific assignment. Students upload the assignments into the AsULearn assignment. See Tutorial for Tagging Artifacts in AsULearn [pdf 197 KB] or contact Elaine Gray ( for a consultation or customized workshop.

2. Faculty can bring hard copies of assignments to the General Education Office 1114 Anne Belk Hall. Please include a copy of  this  coversheet with assignment packages. Allow at least 5 working days for artifact packages to be returned.

3. Faculty who have unique assignments which can not be captured on paper or electronically in AsULearn may contact Elaine Gray ( for possible solutions

4. Faculty may elect to participate in a "Faculty Analysis of Student Learning"  to assist with the General Education Program's indirect assessment methods.  Faculty using this method should email a Word document with their analysis to Elaine Gray ( You may download a Word template for this form here.

Artifact Review Process

Groups of faculty recommended by the General Education Faculty Coordinating Committees will review collected artifacts using the LASSO online interface and AAC&U Value Rubrics. We are testing the AAC&U Value Rubrics with our General Education learning outcomes for two academic years. The AAC&U Value Rubrics were developed by teams of teams of faculty and other academic and student affairs professionals from across the nation.  Subsequently, they were tested at over 100 campuses, including Appalachian State University.  Once the faculty reviewers have used these rubrics for artifact review, they will provide feedback on the rubrics’ applicability to our particular program.  Over time we anticipate customizing the Value Rubrics to more accurately align with Appalachian State University's General Education Program needs and goals.

Overview of General Education Timeline and Assessment Process

An overview of the General Education assessment process and timeline is located within this document


Elaine Gray provides assessment and instructional design support to faculty teaching in General Education. You may contact Elaine at 262-2028 or

Additional Resources

Please explore these additional resources for information on assessment at Appalachian State University and national resources in Higher Ed and General Education