San Diego Mesa College

Data Analysis


Analyzing the Data

The power of Outcomes Assessment is in the discussion and revision process that follows the analysis of the data collected. The assessment itself is only valuable if the department/service area/administrative unit discusses the results and use them to celebrate and to build on its strengths and to discuss and to remediate its weaknesses. Consider your Outcomes Assessment Process as a springboard to discussion and a pathway to departmental improvement and growth.

How data are analyzed and results are reported depends on the type of data collected (qualitative vs. quantitative, direct vs. indirect, summative vs. formative) and the audience. Regardless of how you analyze the data, the results should be reported in a clear, easy to understand manner, so that it facilitates optimal evaluation. Patterns, problems, and questions should become apparent while summarizing and evaluating the data. Discussion of the data should be the key requirement in your post-assessment process.

Organizing Your Results

The simplest method is most likely a narrative that explains your course and program learning outcomes, how and when they were assessed, what the minimum performance criteria were, whether improvements were deemed necessary, what types of improvements were planned, and what resources were necessary to achieve your goals.

A matrix or rubric could also be utilized to record results.

Ultimately, results will need to be entered into Taskstream, the accountability management system of the college including a mid-cycle report at the end of three years, and a summative report at the end of the six-year timeline that explains what happened, why it happened that way, what the faculty learned from it, and what it intends to do to improve student learning

Last Updated: May 23, 2017
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