The Assessment Cycle

Good assessment follows an intentional and reflective process of design, implementation, evaluation, and revision. The Assessment Cycle relies on four simple but dynamic words to represent this process: Plan-Do-Check-Act.

The following graphic shows how the Assessment Cycle is built on these four distinct but interrelated actions. Results at one stage guide activity at the following stage. Clearly articulated outcome statements guide course design, course activities yield data that measure student learning, and evaluation of this data informs course and program revision. The graphic also demonstrates that assessment is a continuous process. Revised outcomes are implemented and student learning evaluated, following a process that may lead to further revision.

To learn more about assessment, click on the colored quadrants. Links provide help answering the following four questions:

  • What do I want students to learn?
  • How do I teach effectively?
  • Are my outcomes being met?
  • How do I use what I've learned?