Assessment Myths

Myth Explanation
Assessment results will be used to evaluate the performance of faculty Successful program assessment depends on faculty awareness, participation, and ownership.  Assessment results should not be used to evaluate faculty performance.  The results are to be used to improve programs.
If our program is doing well and our students are learning, why should we assess? While a program may be doing well and the students may be learning, there is always room for improvement.  Additionally, accrediting bodies, including SUNY and Middle States, require every program to regularly assess its student learning outcomes and utilize the assessment results for program improvements.
Assessment takes away time from students The time and effort involved in conducting an assessment should not be viewed as a “waste of time” since the purpose of assessment is to improve student learning.  Programs have the freedom and capacity to make the assessment process meaningful to the program, the faculty, and the students.
Once the program assessment is completed, there is no need for continued assessments Successful program assessment is an ongoing and continuous process.  Assessment plans and methods can and should be improved as well. 
Program assessment is too complicated and takes too much time There is no dispute that effective program assessment will take both time and effort.  However, a well-developed assessment plan will result in a more efficient and effective assessment process.
Doesn’t assessment interfere with the academic freedom of faculty? The assessment process is to be developed, implemented, and utilized by the faculty.  Faculty are responsible for determining the standards for what a graduate is expected to know, do, and value.  Faculty are also responsible for determining what changes in the curriculum and the program need to be made in order to improve student learning
Isn’t assessment teaching to the test? "Teaching to the test" and "teaching for success" are not the same thing.  The goal of teaching is to help students to master certain concepts, ideas, and skills, and then determine (through testing) if they have mastered what was expected.  Additionally, larger educational outcomes are being assessed as well as course content.