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University of Colorado Boulder College Portrait

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University of Colorado Boulder Learning Outcomes

CU-Boulder has a long history of assessing undergraduate educational outcomes and pays serious attention to evidence concerning student learning, completion rates, and activities after graduation. For more than two decades a campus-wide program has been in place to examine the quality and effectiveness of academic programs through examination of student learning. Academic programs (e.g., history, chemistry) list knowledge and skills goals for their undergraduates in our catalog and use varying assessment methods to determine how well their goals are being met. These methods range from comparison of majors' performance on nationally standardized exams with national norms to direct evaluations by invited experts who rate student achievement. The programs use results from assessment activities to evaluate curricula, teaching, and course content; choose new faculty hires; plan improvements; and evaluate the effects of changes. CU-Boulder uses student surveys to routinely ask students about their educational experiences, making comparisons over CU-Boulder departments and colleges, over time, and to results for students at other public research universities across the country.  The University uses survey results to improve its academic programs. In addition, every semester, every student in every course has the opportunity to rate the course and instructor on nine key questions and to offer "constructive comments to your instructor" on the Faculty Course Questionnaire. Instructors use the ratings and comments to improve their courses.