Quality Assessment Project FINAL

Course Assessment Plan
South Puget Sound Community College offers hundreds of courses in different modalities
including face-to-face, fully online, or hybrid model to increase access and meet student
educational needs. At this point, a course is reviewed upon creation or revision of the course. No
standardized, systematic method exists to assess the quality of course structures at the college.
Educational literature suggests the need for systematic and standardized review of courses as a
way of maintaining quality and rigor in college curricula (Harman & Meek, 2000). In addition,
accreditation standards require colleges to show evidence of assessment processes used to ensure
course and program quality and alignment.
This proposal responds to the growing need to implement an ongoing systematic, criterion-based
assessment of course structure and alignment with program and college learning outcomes. This
course assessment plan will provide the following:
A systematic quality assurance process with continuous improvement feedback loops on
course structure and alignment with program and college learning outcomes.
Consistency and rigor in online, hybrid, and face-to-face course design using an adapted
version of a nationally recognized rubric instrument for online environments.
Trained peer assessment and review teams (faculty to faculty feedback) that will
encompass a college-wide course review committee.
Having a continuous, systematic assessment of online, hybrid, and face-to-face course design
and structures will benefit SPSCC and its community by:
 Demonstrating a commitment to improving the quality of all courses: a factor linked to
increased student retention and completion.
 Providing a process to assess and update course outlines.
 Providing professional development for faculty through a collaborative, active process of
 Serving as a guide to developing new online, hybrid, and face-to-face courses.
 Ensuring alignment of course, program, and college learning outcomes.
Many faculty, staff and administrators will participate in the development and implementation of
this assessment process. We will need to agree on initial criteria and processes, identify lessons
learned, and provide ongoing feedback to improve criteria and processes along the way.
*For the purposes of this proposed plan, it should be noted that there is a difference between an
assessment of course delivery (faculty performance in the classroom) vs. an assessment of course
design and structure. This project seeks to assess only course design and structure.
Description of Project:
January 14, 2014
The goal is to implement a systematic and standard criterion-based course design and structure
assessment process for South Puget Sound Community College credit-based courses. To create
such a process we will need to
 Train a team of faculty, staff and administrators that represents various disciplines and
departments at SPSCC to serve on a Course Review Committee.
o Committee members will be trained to use an adapted version of the Quality
Matters (QM) Rubric via face-to-face and the current Learning Management
System (LMS), as a means to apply the research-based standards to assessing
course design, and providing support and feedback for faculty seeking
improvement of course design.
o Committee members will have two functions: (1) provide support and
consultation for faculty on standards associated with the assessment and (2)
review final course outcome documents with a recommendation to the
Instructional Council body.
 Create assessment criteria, in the form of a rubric, to guide feedback on course structure
and alignment.
 Provide training for all faculty members on how to write learning outcomes and
assessments and how to use the assessment rubric.
 Create a system for choosing when a course will be assessed, so as to have an ongoing
process of review and feedback for improvement. All instructors who are part of the
discipline or program related to the chosen course outline will be notified at least ten
weeks prior to the course being assessed in the subsequent quarter.
 Engage all full-time instructors who teach the course in the assessment of the course.
Part-time faculty who teach the course may participate in the assessment of the course.
Assessment Review Process
It is critical that the process be administered as an “assessment as learning” process with the sole
purpose of ensuring consistency of structure, quality improvement and alignment of course,
program outcomes, and college abilities regardless of who is teaching it. The process involves
the following steps
1. A course offered at South Puget Sound Community College will be chosen for review.
2. Faculty members who teach the course will be notified that the course outline has been
chosen for a review at least ten weeks prior to the assessment.
3. Faculty members who teach the course will work with Course Review committee
members as consultants and support, to assess the course using established criteria. The
result of the assessment is to identify opportunities for improved course outcomes,
alignment among course and program outcomes and college abilities, and improvement
in course outline structure.
4. Upon completion of the assessment and any recommended revisions, the chair of the
Course Review team will notify the dean of the readiness to reapprove the course outline
through the Instruction Council.
5. The appropriate dean will bring the assessed/revised course outline to the Instruction
Council for approval.
January 14, 2014
 Winter 2014, Instructional Council and committee members receive training in how to
write learning outcomes and assessments.
 Beginning winter 2014, faculty members will receive training on how to write and revise
program learning outcomes and assessments.
 Beginning fall 2014, courses will be placed on a systematic assessment schedule. The
schedule for the following year will be published an available to the college community.
 Beginning winter 2015, courses will be assessed through the newly established course
assessment process. This process will include an assessment of syllabi for alignment
with course outcomes.
January 14, 2014