Assessment of student learning in Ball State University's academic programs is an essential means of identifying areas for growth and improvement in those programs. Therefore Ball State colleges, departments, and schools engage in annual programmatic assessment. 

Academic Program Assessment Reports

Program assessment reports are submitted from units within each college. While ongoing assessment is expected in all programs, college administrators work with their departments/schools to determine which of their program(s) to include in annual assessment reporting. Through either the specialized accreditation reporting or through the university program assessment reporting, programs in each college should be included in program assessment reports at least once every five years. Recent analysis of the feedback given to faculty regarding their program assessment reports is available HERE. The analysis suggests that overall, program assessment reports are meeting expectations outlined in the reporting template and feedback rubric. The program assessment reports from faculty, along with supportive feedback from members of the University Assessment Committee, help Ball State on its continuous journey of improvement. Examples of improvements cited in recent program assessment reports can be viewed HERE.

Co-Curricular Program Assessment Reports

Co-curricular experiences are an extension of formal curricular experiences and allow students to explore their strengths and talents outside the classroom. Some co-curricular experiences are embedded in academic programs, while others are offered outside academic programs. The outcomes are defined by the unit, based on the co-curricular experience.

The process by which co-curricular outcomes are measured is uniquely tailored to the experience itself. Units determine their assessment reporting schedule for collecting data and assessing outcomes. Measures may include a combination of direct measures and indirect assessment. To close the loop, co-curricular experiences and outcomes are reported and discussed in unit-level meetings, and many are also reported and discussed in campus leadership meetings. The aims of co-curricular outcomes assessment are to continually improve the quality of the experiences and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of resources used to provide the experiences.

Program Learning Outcomes

Observable, measurable program learning outcomes explain what each program intends to achieve. Program assessment involves a series of activities designed to determine how well students achieve the stated program learning outcomes. Results lead to continuous improvements in student learning in the unit’s programs.

Curriculum Mapping

Curriculum mapping depicts where the outcomes are assessed among required courses. The process of curriculum mapping involves the creation of a matrix, with program learning outcomes along one axis and required courses along the other axis. Faculty use the matrix to discuss and align the program learning outcomes and required courses. See the Curriculum Map Video Tutorial below for more information.

Direct and Indirect Measures of Student Learning

Systematic collection and review of both direct and indirect measures is an ongoing process in each program. While each department/school determines how its assessment will be conducted, program assessment must include at least one direct measure of student learning.

  • Direct measures of learning explicitly demonstrate how well students have acquired the program learning outcomes. Examples include comprehensive exams, standardized tests, licensing exams, evaluation of student portfolios and performances, and evaluation of student performance by practicum, internship, studio or clinical supervisors.
  • Indirect measures of learning provide proxy information about student learning. Examples include student ratings of program quality, student surveys about instruction, student self-assessment, exit interviews, alumni surveys, and employer surveys.

Want some help?

Contact Carole Kacius, Director of Assessment and Accreditation, to schedule an individual consultation if you would like assistance articulating measurable program learning outcomes, constructing or reconstructing your curriculum map, or writing your assessment report.

This informal, practical Zoom consultation will enable you to ask questions, review your program learning outcomes, work on your curriculum map, draft the 2-pg. report together, and explore opportunities to make the assessment process as meaningful and manageable as possible.

The following resources are meant to aid in documenting the systematic approach to program review:

Reports are due Oct. 15 each year (unless your college has an approved alternate submission date). Reports should be uploaded using the Assessment Report Submission in Qualtrics.

Assessment is rooted in a philosophy of continual improvement of our learning environments. This checklist ensures continued excellence in assessment procedures.

Assessment Cycle

Graphic displays the assessment cycle: Plan, Implement, Assess, Analyze, Use

For more information about the annual program assessment process, consult the Faculty and Professional Personnel Handbook.

Assessment Events and Resources

Ball State University's Assurance of Learning Day focuses on processes and data used to improve student learning and experiences at Ball State.

Keynote Speaker: Bethany Miller, PhD

Keynote Speaker: George D. Kuh, PhD

Keynote Speakers: Stephen P. Hundley, PhD and Keston H. Fulcher, PhD

Ball State University's Assessment Toolkit offers tutorials, templates, rubrics, and literature to support assessment activities that improve student learning and experiences and Ball State.

The toolkit is available to faculty and staff.

Annual Excellence in Assessment Recognition

The University Assessment Committee (UAC) recognizes individuals, programs, or units for extraordinary contributions to Ball State’s culture of assessment through ongoing efforts in the classroom, on committees, and/or in projects that have broad benefits and lead to improvement. Programs, units, and individuals are eligible to be nominated for one of the four categories.

Distinction in Assessment
recognizes the individual, program, or unit that has made significant contributions to promote a culture of assessment at Ball State. The individual, program, or unit has achieved meritorious distinction by modeling sustained, effective use of assessment processes to make substantial and positive changes.

Innovation in Assessment recognizes the individual, program, or unit that has gone above and beyond expected assessment practices and initiated an innovative assessment method that resulted in improvement of an academic or co-curricular program at Ball State.

Equity in Assessment recognizes the individual, program, or unit for creating a more culturally responsive learning environment at Ball State. The award recipient disaggregates their data to examine whether any groups of students need to be better supported and/or empowers students as partners in the assessment process.

Collaboration in Assessment
recognizes the individual, program, or unit for exemplary assessment methods in partnership with other stakeholder groups such as BSU students, staff, alumni, community partners, and employers to implement positive changes.

The Excellence in Assessment recipients are recognized during Ball State’s annual Provost's Faculty Summit.

2024 Excellence in Assessment Recognition:
Distinction in Assessment: 
Mr. Shawn Sriver
Innovation in Assessment: Dr. Jörn Seemann
Equity in Assessment: Mr. Brian Pickerill
Collaboration in Assessment: Department of Educational Leadership, Teachers College

2023 Excellence in Assessment Recognition:
Distinction in Assessment:
Dr. Carolyn "Carrie" Shue
Innovation in Assessment: Prof. Eric Klosterman
Equity in Assessment: Dr. Jennifer Coy and Prof. David Largent
Collaboration in Assessment: Dr. Sundeep Rayat

2022 Excellence in Assessment Recognition:
Distinction in Assessment:
Dr. Jerrell Cassady
Innovation in Assessment: MGT 491 Faculty - Dr. Xian Cao, Dr. Imran Syed, & Dr. Donald "Breck" Terheide
Equity in Assessment: Department of Social Work, College of Health
Collaboration in Assessment: Division of Online and Strategic Learning


If you would like to speak with someone about Ball State's assessment processes or accreditation, please contact Carole Kacius, Director of Assessment and Accreditation.