Somewhere in between defining your student learning outcomes and collecting data about student performance on those outcomes using selected measurement tools is an essential and sometimes overlooked stage in the assessment process – Learning Activities and Engagement!
Learning activities and engagement are made up of the instruction and curriculum that faculty design, plan, and do with students to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to successfully meet the student learning outcomes. These learning experiences encompass things that happen both in and outside of class and during interactions with class materials, peers, and professors.
Learning activities and engagement are documented as part of the annual assessment process to show that curriculum is thoughtfully designed for each student learning outcome and that students are given adequate opportunities to develop necessary knowledge and practice applicable skills leading up to assessment points.
The BA/BS Biology program offers an excellent example of how these Learning Activities and Engagement are thoughtfully constructed for each program student learning outcome. The program has a well-developed curriculum map that helps to pinpoint where each program SLO is covered in both required and elective courses throughout the program and shows how course content builds in complexity from the introductory level to advanced content. As students progress through the curriculum, the kinds of learning experiences also vary to provide a broad range of engagement aligned to the program SLO and level of challenge identified for the specific course.