• A group of CCBC students walk on the CCBC Catonsville campus

Learning Outcomes Assessment

The Community College of Baltimore County values learning and is committed to ensuring that its students grow as learners and develop a passion for life-long learning.

Evaluating the effectiveness of instruction is a faculty responsibility that is necessary for the improvement and verification of learning. The College is dedicated to providing faculty with substantial assistance in the development of learning outcomes assessment, program outcomes assessment, and classroom learning assessment processes and in the revision of instructional practices that may follow from outcomes assessment.

Assessment Definition

Assessment is a purposeful, systematic, and collaborative process driven by the institution's desire to improve student learning. It is a deliberate course of action that defines expected student achievement in terms of learning outcomes and core competencies and measures actual student achievement using pre-determined internal standards and external benchmarks. The goal of assessment is to transform the institution into one which creates the best conditions for learning, encourages best practices, and inspires creativity and innovation.

Assessment Philosophy

Assessment is a natural and ongoing component of the instructional process. All members of the institution share responsibility for student learning during their tenure at the College. Continuous improvement of learning is a collective enterprise upon which the success of instructional units depends on the organized support and cooperation of others.

The process of assessing learning outcomes is a means to an end, that end being improved learning. As part of assuming the professional responsibility that goes with teaching, faculty identify, design, and implement specific learning outcomes assessments. The results, once analyzed, form the base for organized change that positively influences student learning.

Learning outcomes assessment is neither precise nor perfect, and its data are interpreted with that in mind. It is a way of thinking about quality that comes from our willingness to continually examine, question, and, as necessary, alter what we do as an educational institution.

In no instance are the results of learning outcomes assessment used in a punitive manner, neither in reference to students nor to personnel. The climate of cooperation and focused efforts to improve permeates the assessment process. Such an atmosphere relieves staff of fear and allows them to approach both instructional and program assessment with an open and creative mind.

Learning outcomes assessment provides feedback to faculty that allows them to strengthen and improve the educational process, which results in more appropriate, more extensive, and/or higher level learning.