Closing the Assessment Loop: Using the MDiv as an Example
Evaluation is a process that includes (1) the identification of desired goals or outcomes for an educational program, or institutional service, or personnel performance; (2) a system of gathering quantitative or qualitative information related to the desired goals; (3) the assessment of the performance of the program, service, or person based on this information; and (4) the establishment of revised goals or activities based on the assessment. Institutions shall develop and implement ongoing evaluation procedures for employees, students, educational programs, and institutional activities (from General Institutional Standards, Standard 1, section 1.2.2).
What schools often fail to do is “close the loop” in assessment by using their data to make actual improvements in their programs or services. The four links below illustrate for the four content areas of the MDiv program (see Educational and Degree Programs Standards, Standard A, section A.2) how a school might develop an assessment model that addresses all four components described in the previous paragraph, including the fourth and final step that closes the assessment loop: