UT Dallas engages in continuous, integrated, and comprehensive planning and evaluation processes. As a part of these activities, UT Dallas’ administrative and academic units identify expected outcomes, assess the extent to which they achieve those outcomes, and provide evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results. This process incorporates a systematic review of the UT Dallas mission, goals, and outcomes in areas such as:
Degree and certificate programs, to include student learning outcomes
Degree and certificate programs are assessed to determine the quality and efficacy of the educational programs offered at UT Dallas. To achieve this, each program clearly defines and documents expected student learning outcomes, evaluations of those outcomes and findings from the assessment of those outcomes. Based on this information, all degree and certificate programs can determine:
- The degree to which student learning outcomes are successfully achieved within each program
- Areas in which each program can be improved upon
- How UT Dallas’ use of assessment results has led to improvements in its educational programs
Administrative and Academic Support
Every year, administrative and academic support programs are asked to submit a report to the Office of Assessment. This report describes assessment results from the previous year, ways in which assessment data were used (if any), and plans for program improvements.
Components of the report include outcomes, measures, targets, and results. Outcomes are the desired achievements that a program has for its activities, functions, services, and/or impact on the university community. Measures are the data sources/methods that are used to gather information about the outcomes. Measures can be quantitative (e.g. counts, ratings, time) or qualitative (e.g. interviews, written feedback, meeting notes). Targets are the desired level of performance for a measure and are used to determine whether an outcome has been achieved. They can be based off previous performance, prior experience, and/or standards from professional organizations. For quantitative measures, results contain summary statistics, which include totals, averages, and/or percentages. For qualitative measures, results may include themes and/or examples.
Academic and student support services
The assessment of academic and support services examines the quality of living and learning programs offered to students at UT Dallas. Programs, such as those offered by Student Affairs, are evaluated according to their ability to prepare graduates for life, work and leadership. The following goals are assessed and used to improve the academic and student support services:
- Ensure high standards of customer service throughout the Division of Student Affairs by providing staff development programs, reducing student complaints related to service, and keeping quality service at the forefront of all unit endeavors.
- Develop a comprehensive, intentional assessment program with a greater focus on student learning and development and retention efforts within Student Affairs units. Ensure appropriate staff members receive ongoing training and development in the areas of student learning and development and assessment.
- Using the CAS (Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education) Professional Standards for Higher Education as a standard, ensure Student Affairs units are aligned with the university and division missions.
- Students engaged in programs and services provided by the Division of Student Affairs will develop and demonstrate life skills and characteristics associated with the student learning and development outcome domains outlined by CAS, which include the following:
- knowledge acquisition, integration, construction, and application
- cognitive complexity
- intrapersonal development
- interpersonal competence
- humanitarianism and civic engagement
- practical competence
Core Curriculum Assessment
The Core Curriculum at UTD is assessed through the Comets to the Core project. The project began in the fall semester of 2017 for all first-time in college freshmen. Comets to the Core is completed during the fall semester of students first and third years at UT Dallas through the UNIV 1010/2020 course sequence.
Through this project, the following skills are assessed, as mandated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board:
- Critical thinking - critical thinking, innovation, inquiry, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of information.
- Communication Skills [oral and written] - effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral, and visual information.
- Teamwork - to include the ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal.
- Social responsibility - intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities.
- Personal responsibility - ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.
- Empirical and Quantitative Skills - to include the manipulation and analysis of numerical data or observable facts resulting in informed conclusions.
Through this project, students will:
- Collaborate with peers to develop a solution to a real-world problem.
- Analyze research to identify how they can alleviate social problems in the real world.
- Identify the social, political, environmental, and economic components of a complex world problem, and will provide a solution that addresses sustainability in each of those areas.
The Assessment Team provides university-wide support to assist the institution’s administrative and academic units with demonstrating their institutional effectiveness.
The Office of Assessment hosts a biannual celebration to recognize the dedication and hard work of those collecting, using, and learning about assessment. Visit the Biannual Assessment Awards to find out more and see the winners.
Upcoming Assessment Deadlines
- October 31, 2022 (Monday) - Academic program assessment reports for academic year 2021-2022 and plans for academic year 2022-2023 due
- Clarifications on Reports and Plans - Let’s think of a report as two parts. Part A consists of what you plan on doing this year for assessment (fill out the column labeled measure). This is also known as an Assessment Plan. Part B then looks at the past year of what you’ve done for assessment (fill out the columns labeled results and plan along with the summary sections). A full Assessment Report is part A that was filled out last year plus part B that you’re filling out this year. Each year you will hand in Part A from the current school year (Assessment Plan) and part B from the previous school year (making it an Assessment Report).
- October 28, 2022 (Friday) - Administrative unit reports for academic year 2021-2022 or fiscal year 2022 and plans for 2022-2023 and fiscal year 2022 are due
- COVID-19 - Please reach out with any questions and concerns due to COVID-19 and its impact on your assessment report/plan
- Please contact Drs. Gloria Shenoy (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Academic Assessment or Melissa Ray (Melissa.Ray@utdallas.edu) for Administrative and Academic Support Assessment with any questions or concerns.