Otis College of Art and Design is consistently engaged in evaluating student work on a systematic basis. This is key to assessing how well students are learning the content, competencies, and concepts of their disciplines and Liberal Arts and Sciences so that they can meet the Institutional and Programmatic Learning Outcomes for the College. Since assessment processes are systematic, we can collect information about our student learning levels when they arrive, map achievement during each semester, and evaluate what they have mastered at graduation. This assessment is important because it provides departments and the college with information for continuous improvement.

All academic departments have developed assessment plans and practices that identify critical student learning outcomes, summary analyses of student performance, evidence of student work, and plans for improvement for both short-term and long-term goals. Faculty have access to guidelines, templates and samples to help them in this process as well as ongoing assistance from their department chairs and the Associate Provost for Assessment and Accreditation.

Otis College of Art and Design is strongly committed to student learning outcome achievement as the primary indicator of success in academic excellence. Our goal is providing students with the knowledge, values, skills, and practices necessary for their personal and professional development in a changing global environment. Ongoing assessment of learning outcomes gives us systematic evidence of our students’ knowledge, competencies and educational experiences and helps us evaluate our progress, support continued success, and target specific areas for improvement.

Each academic program is student-centered, identifying learning outcomes specific to individual fields and disciplines. In assessing student learning outcomes, the College uses a variety of methods and targets these outcomes over a four-year cycle. We use the results from these assessments to guide us in determining curricular restructuring, revising course content and design, and exploring our instructional practices. In Assessment, this is called ‘closing the loop’ and it is key to making sure that our faculty is as informed as possible and our students continually benefit from what we have learned about making their education successful.