Departmental assessment has taken several forms over the past decade. Originally, departments would choose one impactful aspect of their curriculum and assess that aspects. Around six years ago, the College focused on writing across the curriculum and departments therefore focused assessment attention on writing. More recently departments have once again focused on one core aspect of their curriculum.
Currently, departments choose at least one of their learning goals to assess. Each academic department therefore creates learning goals for students who enroll in the departments' courses. These learning goals align with seven learning goals specified by the College. They may also align with the Modes of Inquiry based on curricular requirements. The goals may also be informed by other aspects important to college as listed below.
The College learning goals state that at their time at Bryn Mawr, students will learn
- writing skills
- research skills
- oral communication skills
- the ability to understand and use quantitative tools
- the ability to view a problem from multiple perspectives
- critical thinking skills
- problem-solving skills
In addition to this, there are four modes of inquiry based on curricular requirements
- Scientific Investigation
- Critical Interpretation
- Cross-Cultural Comparison
- Inquiry into the Past
Finally there are other categories that may inform departmental learning goals. For example
After assessing their learning goals, Departments then create a report on the assessment which is reviewed by the Provost and stored in the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment.