Carnegie Mellon University

Program Assessment
Frequently Asked Questions

Program-level assessment is separate from processes related to course grades and faculty course evaluations. Program assessment is not intended to evaluate individual students or faculty. We are collecting artifacts from courses so that we can better understand and improve aggregate progress related to skill development within and across courses.

Artifacts for analysis will be identified by the course instructor in consultation with the assessment team. Course instructors will identify the primary learning areas and related outcomes that the course will be targeting and select the best examples of student progress in primary learning areas from existing activities or assignments.

Data points will be collected from five data sources (Institutional and college analytics, student surveys, student artifacts, direct and standardized measures, and feedback from our alumni). We will collect information through a variety of means, like surveys completed during the first year at CMU, activities that students will complete over the summer prior to matriculation, and focus groups. Artifacts from coursework might include group projects, individual papers, or team presentations, for example.

When course artifacts are collected for program assessment purposes, identifying information will be removed prior to data analysis whenever possible. When this is not possible (i.e., when the artifact is a video recording of a student presentation), data will be anonymized prior to any reporting or sharing within the community. We will uphold the intellectual property policy laid out by the University.

Only the program assessment committee and reviewers will have direct access to student artifacts. Committee members and reviewers are select faculty and staff in Dietrich College.

Data will be collected every semester, and a program assessment report will be generated every summer. Each year in the early fall, the assessment team will share an update on the state of the program, with an emphasis on the previous academic year relative to prior years.