Principles of Assessment

Purpose of Assessment

The purpose of assessment is to improve student learning of the knowledge and skill student learning outcomes (SLOs) of the General Education Program.


Responsibilities for Assessment

  1. The responsibility for assessment is shared between faculty, the General Education Committee, and the GE Director.
  2. Student achievement of GE knowledge and skills SLOs is not solely a function of the General Education Program. Other academic and service units help achieve these outcomes as well.
  3. Faculty assess student learning on a three-year cycle in every GE course.
  4. The number of sections assessed is based on the number of sections offered annually and/or annual student enrollment.


Relationship with Faculty

  1. GEC will trust colleagues and will maintain collegiality throughout the process.
  2. GEC will be respectful of faculty time by designing an efficient programmatic assessment plan.
  3. Faculty effort should be commensurate with the purpose of GE assessment.
  4. Assessment is not designed to evaluate faculty.
  5. Assessment activities and feedback are both formative and summative.


Faculty Development Activities

  1. Faculty development activities will be informed by assessment data and best practices.
  2. GEC will provide a variety of faculty development activities (short workshops, longer institutes, and personal consulting about topics including syllabus development, student learning outcomes, designing courses to achieve the outcomes, and rubric development).
  3. Many of these faculty development activities will be led by other units such as the FTLC.



  1. Course-based assessment data will be aggregated and reported by the subcategory and category level.
  2. GEC will analyze the assessment result – both quantitative and qualitative – to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the GE Program.
  3. GEC will report both averages and the full distribution of quantitative data since we strive to improve learning for all students.
  4. GEC will disseminate assessment results to the campus community in a timely manner.
  5. GEC will use assessment data to continually improve:
    • the design of the GE Program
    • the GE programmatic assessment plan
    • how faculty teach the GE student learning outcomes
    • how faculty assess the GE student learning outcomes.
  6. GEC will communicate regularly with the entire GVSU community – students, faculty, staff, and administration – about the goals, assessment activities, results, and actions to improve the GE program.

Page last modified October 27, 2022