Using Evidence to Improve Course Designs and Learning

Now that you’ve collected and examined evidence of learning, what’s next? Answering the following sets of questions will help you determine whether, and when, you can make changes to your course design, assignments, or even whether you need to adjust your learning goals for this course. If you’re making any changes to the course based on mid-course feedback from students, make sure to communicate these changes to them, as well as to explain why you may not be changing everything they expressed dissatisfaction with. Closing the loop for both yourself and your students is the important last step of the assessment process.

Based on your findings, ask:

  • What is working in my course, or for my students?
  • What areas need tweaking or improvement?
  • What is a reasonable plan for making changes this semester?

Based on your above responses, ask: What changes to my course(s)…

  • …could be easily accomplished?
  • …might be done in one or two semesters?
  • …should be considered as long-range goals?
  • …would have the greatest positive impact on students?
  • …would require additional departmental resources (faculty, staff, money, space, or equipment)?