Documenting and sharing what you learn from assessments is an important step in using assessment as a tool for student success. This is not only a way to share what you have learned but it may also provide others with additional insight and information and can be an important part of making changes in response to what you have learned.
If you are assessing student learning in your own course, documentation may be as simple as writing down some notes about what you examined and what you found and remembering to revisit these notes before you teach the class again. You might take it a step further and have an informal conversation with a colleague or send a quick e-mail to others who have recently taught the same course, letting them know what you have found.
If you are assessing student learning at the program level, you will probably want to be more collaborative in your approach, involving at least a few of your colleagues, and you probably also want to be more formal in documenting what you did and what you have learned.
General Advice on Assessment Reporting
There are a few general pieces of advice to keep in mind when reporting on assessment:
First, be open, honest, and fair about your assessment results. Although there may be a temptation not to report on discouraging findings, assessment is more about the process than the outcome.
Second, think about confidentiality issues for your students. You should not identify individual students in assessment reports. Remove names, student identification numbers, and other obviously identifying information from samples of student work that you might include in a report. You should also consider if it would be possible to identify an individual student based on a combination of information you provide. (For example, in a small program there might only be one woman who is graduating in a given year; disaggregating capstone project scores by gender and class level may, in effect, make this student’s grade public.)