campus partner(s)

Seattle University and Gonzaga University






Outcomes and Assessment

award date


project director

John C. Bean

Seattle University

Grant Summary

$25,000 over 12 months. Building on recent work these peer Jesuit institutions have done together on assessment, Seattle and Gonzaga Universities propose to assess disciplinary outcomes for given majors and mission-related outcomes beyond the major, such as commitment to social justice. The partners will undertake a "discourse approach" in this project, applying rubrics (that can identify patterns of strength and weakness in student performance across specified criteria) to grade a selection of "course-embedded" assignments, and then using these findings to fuel faculty discussion about how changes in course design, assignments, or instructional methods might lead to the amelioration of weakness. They will embark on a two-part plan:

  1. Each campus will first select one or two departments to assess the work of seniors within the major using an embedded assignment. The departments will identify the disciplinary outcomes to be assessed and an embedded assignment that would demonstrate mastery of those outcomes. Creating a rubric for scoring students' work is next. Once the data is gathered, faculty will discuss and analyze the results, and develop "feedback loop" ideas for addressing student weakness.
  2. In part two of the project, the collaborative hopes to extend "discourse approach" to the assessment of learning outcomes related to both institutions' commitment to social justice. Both universities will hold campus-wide discussions of how a learning outcome connected to social justice could be worded, how their curriculum and co-curriculum could be designed to help achieve the outcome, and how the outcome can be assessed. They will also consider whether instruments like the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) can provide indirect measures of commitment to social justice.