Student Learning Assessment

Accreditation Alignment

The following SACSCOC principle is addressed via the student learning assessment process:

  • 8.2.a

    The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves those outcomes, and provides evidence of seeking improvement based on analysis of the results in the following areas: Student learning outcomes from each of its educational programs.

    • Participants; All academic programs – degree and stand-alone certificates

LSU’s student learning assessment cycle incorporates a comprehensive approach for each academic program, which includes the following steps: 

  • Initial establishment of an assessment plan covering a specified multi-year period (updated every three years and as needed);
  • Annual reporting (Student Learning Assessment Report – SLAR) to document assessment of specified measures and use of findings to seek opportunities for improvements for a given academic year; and
  • Periodic reporting (Program Impact Report - PIR) to document the impact of assessment results and actions that have been implemented to improve teaching and learning, and any resulting changes to curriculum and/or pedagogy over a specified multi-year period. 

Assessment Support 

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness offers student learning assessment related sessions throughout the year to support assessment coordinators across campus in their efforts to design a meaningful, manageable, and sustainable assessment process for their respective units. Additionally, departmental, unit, and/or individual consultations for faculty, staff, and administrators can be provided as needed. Session offerings are listed on the Training and Workshop page and participants must register at

The Certificate of Achievement in Student Learning Assessment (CASLA) is offered as recognition of members of the LSU community who have completed the scaffolded series of sessions necessary to earn the certificate. The Certificate of Achievement consists of five sessions offered in an intentional order. Each session is offered over the course of the semester (some sessions are offered more frequently) to ensure that the Certificate of Achievement can be earned during a single semester. 

  • Session 1: Student Learning Assessment: Foundation and Fundamentals. Participants will be able to define assessment, describe the value of assessment, and understand the assessment process at LSU. 
  • Session 2: Student Learning Assessment: Planning, Annual Reporting, and Impact Reporting. Participants will be able to: write meaningful assessment plans, annual student learning assessment reports, and program impact reports.
  • Session 3: Student Learning Assessment: Rubric Development. Participants will be able to classify varying types of rubrics and construct a rubric that can be used for assessment. 
  • Session 4: Student Learning Assessment: Using Evidence to Improve Learning. Participants will discuss the appropriateness of evidence collected, how using multiple measures and integrating student learning data with institutional data can help tell your program/unit story, and discuss common barriers often found when collecting evidence for student learning assessment purposes.
  • Session 5: Student Learning Assessment: Actionable Insights. Participants will be able to use data collected through the assessment process to make best practice data-driven decisions.

  • Applying the Backwards Design Framework. Backwards design provides beginner level material needed to design your courses/programs. Participants will be introduced to three stages of backwards design: (1) identifying the desired results; (2) determining acceptable evidences of learning; and (3) designing the learning experience.
  • Assignment Design. Assignments are powerful teaching tools; this workshop will bring faculty together for collegial exchange and knowledge building. Faculty are asked to bring an assignment with them to the workshop.  The assignment might be a draft assignment they are currently working on, one that has worked well but may be in need of a refresh, or one that has not worked as well as they had hoped. Finally, the assignment should be one in which the student is asked to demonstrate either critical thinking, quantitative literacy, written communication, or integrative learning. At the end of the workshop faculty will leave with a revised assignment that aligns to one of the outcomes above and the corresponding VALUE Rubric. 
  • Building Rubrics. If you love chocolate and learning, this workshop is for you. Building rubrics will provide participants with the basic elements of an academic rubric, while brainstorming the essential components of the world’s best chocolate chip cookie!
  • Outcomes Assessment for Administrative and Student Support Units. Outcomes assessment for administrative and student support units introduces the basic key terms and lexicon necessary for a shared understanding of what assessment is and how assessment of student learning and student success outcomes can jump-start their  unit’s commitment to continuous improvement. An introduction to the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) is also shared. 
  • Planning & Self-Study: An Introduction. PSS training follows an open-ended format focusing on addressing participants’ questions related to student learning assessment reporting. Participants are invited to ask questions relating to any challenges encountered using the software.  Zoom and screen shares are utilized to make most efficient use of time.