Assessment of Student Learning
Harvey Mudd’s approach to assessment is best thought of as guided inquiry in support of student learning. We gather systematic evidence of our students’ knowledge, proficiencies and learning so we can build on what is working and strengthen areas in need of improvement.
Our assessment program is:
The ultimate goal of assessment is to determine the extent to which our students are reaching the goals we have established for them. The College faculty and staff have articulated educational goals across the entire Harvey Mudd experience that provide a framework for our assessment efforts as an institution. Learning outcomes for the Core (PDF) and for departments and other programs guide our overall work.
Assessment is led through a partnership between the appointed faculty Assessment and Accreditation Committee, the director of institutional research and effectiveness and the dean of the faculty. The Assessment and Accreditation Committee coordinates the assessment of institutional goals and outcomes, assists with the implementation of assessment practices, and disseminates results of assessment to the College.
Mission-focused, Meaningful and Manageable
Assessment helps us advance the mission of the College by helping us understand and strengthen our work with students. We use a variety of approaches to gather assessment evidence, because we believe multiple methods are more likely to yield meaningful and actionable results. We streamline our work through a data collection schedule (PDF) that cycles through different types of data and outcomes and engages faculty in assessing one outcome at a time.
Good assessment begins with the end in mind. As we plan our work, we think about who will use the data and for what purpose. For example, our approach to the assessment of the Core Curriculum was developed only after we had thought deeply about what information individual instructors, departments, and committees would need and how they would use it. Our assessment reports focus on how the results will be used to adjust curriculum requirements, course content, student work or instructional practices.