Rock Valley College

Assessment Overview

Assessment is a continual and dynamic process of collecting, synthesizing, and interpreting information to aid in continuous improvement efforts and decision making.  In higher education, assessment involves the following:

  • Identifying clear, valid and appropriate learning outcomes;
  • Collecting evidence of student learning from various assessment measures;
  • Engaging in dialogue to interpret the data; and
  • Using data to validate or enhance student learning and to make improvements in curriculum and instruction.

At RVC, assessment of student learning is conducted at the institutional, program or discipline, and course level.  These efforts are guided, in part, by Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), and the Academic Plan.

Assessment of Student Learning as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

RVC has identified KPI to inform the college community about institutional health and development. The College KPI are presented in the following five categories aligned to Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) Public Agenda Goals:  

  • Educational Attainment, Access, and Success
  • Affordability
  • Educational Quality
  • Accountability
  • Addressing Regional Economic Needs

Assessment of student learning is a KPI aligned to the College category of Educational Quality.  As a measure of Educational Quality, this category is aligned to the IBHE Public Agenda Goal to raise the number of people with quality postsecondary credentials and to improve transitions along the educational pipeline.

Purpose of Assessment

An important aspect of assessment is the use of assessment data to validate student learning or recommend and make substantive changes. In order to close the loop on assessment, faculty and administrators need to use assessment data to drive decisions from the class and course level up through the institutional level.

First and foremost, assessment data should be used to validate and improve student learning. If the data confirm that students achieve institutional, program/disciple, or course objectives, RVC can use the data to promote the quality of learning and instruction. If the data indicate that students are not achieving stated objectives, then improvements may be required. Types of improvement may include changes in materials, curriculum, pedagogy, or student support. The ultimate goal is to make continuous improvements to student learning.

Assessment Loop