Assessment of student learning is an important way to provide evidence of the quality of education at Calvin, as well as to create a continuous process to improve teaching and learning. The purpose of assessment is informed decision making that provides quality assurance for the protection of students. B. Walvoord, in Assessment Clear and Simple (p2), puts it this way:

“Assessment is a natural, scholarly act, asking ‘Are students learning what we
would like them to?’ and ‘How can we better help them learn?’”

Core Assessment

The Core Curriculum Committee spent much of the 2018-19 year analyzing individual assessment reports from Calvin classes that meet a core requirement. Of the 229 classes total, some of which were not taught this year, 176 (77%) classes submitted assessment reports. The Core Curricula Committee evaluated each report in 3 areas: the existence of current assessment data for Student Learning Objective 1, identified thresholds or targets, and evidence of "closing the loop."

The Academic Assessment Committee re-examined these same reports and aggregated all data to determine the extent that students have met the target for each learning outcome. They considered the total number of students in each course, the percent of courses reporting, as well as the number of students who met the threshold in each core category. Together these two studies found:

Program Assessment

Effective Program Assessment is both useful and workable, and a critical component to this is faculty discussion about student learning. If a department feels that their current assessment plan is neither useful nor feasible, they are encouraged to contact the director of assessment, Dr. Laura DeHaan, or their Departmental Liaison listed below.

Department Liaisons
Rachael Baker Becky Haney Kerrie Berends Jeremy Van Antwerp
Biology Economics Art Business
Chemistry Religion Communication Computer Science
GEO Sociology English Education
Kinesiology Political Science Music Engineering
Mathematics Social Work SPAUD French
Nursing Philosophy History Germanic
Physics IDS Spanish
Psychology Digital Comm. Asian Studies
SCES Public Health Masters in Acc.

Starting in 2019, the Academic Assessment Committee will be posting a summary of individual departmental reports on our Assessment Dashboard. Department chairs are welcome to review this information by clicking here. We are currently working on a process that will allow departments to post assessment data directly on this same dashboard.

Award-Winning Assessment Reports:

Other Resources:

Contact Info:

Laura DeHaan

Laura DeHaan

Dean for Academic Administration
Full profile

Academic Assessment Committee Members:
  • Rachael Baker, Chemistry
  • Nana Baidoo (student)
  • Kerrie Berends, Kinesiology
  • Becky Haney, Economics
  • Jeremy VanAntwerp, Engineering
Core Committee Chair:
  • Peggy Goetz, Speech Pathology
  • Core Assessment SLO #2 Reports Due: September 15 2019
  • Departmental Assessment Reports Due: October 15 2019