Assessment at University of Detroit Mercy

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Three UDM Students
communication studies student

Detroit Mercy Institutional Outcomes

The University of Detroit Mercy’s Institutional Outcomes serve as an umbrella for all student learning outcomes across the University. These include outcomes in co-curricular, undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, as well as in the undergraduate core curriculum. These Institutional Outcomes are the knowledge, skills, abilities, and habits of mind that students are expected to develop as a result of their overall experience at Detroit Mercy.


Students will be able to apply Jesuit and Mercy Values to their personal and professional responsibilities.


Students will value multiple perspectives of diversity and human difference through exposure to a variety of cultures, communities, and contexts that prepare them to work and live in diverse settings, and to engage as citizens of the world.


Students will be able to comprehensively explore a problem; make connections between information before accepting or formulating an opinion, solution, or conclusion; and conduct ongoing evaluation.


Students will be able to communicate effectively within academic, professional, and civic contexts using genres and/or modalities appropriate for their purpose and audience.


Students will behave in a professional and ethical manner, exhibiting honesty, fairness, equality, dignity, integrity, and respect for individual rights and differences in all interactions. 


Students will develop foundational skills for lifelong learning, including curiosity, transfer, independence, initiative, and reflection.

Detroit Mercy Institutional Outcomes (pdf)


Assessment is an on-going process aimed at understanding and improving student learning. It involves making our expectations explicit and public; setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning quality; systematically gathering, analyzing and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards; and using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance.

University Assessment Team

The Assessment Team is the primary oversight body for the student outcomes assessment programs of the University. The Assessment Team reports to the vice president for Academic Affairs and is comprised of

  • One representative from each of the colleges or schools.
  • One representative from the library.
  • One faculty member from the McNichols Faculty Assembly.
  • Two administrative representatives.

The Assessment Team is responsible for

  • Developing a mechanism for sharing best practices around the University regarding assessment.
  • Reviewing the assessment methodologies being used by each school and identifying those schools in which assessment activities require improvement.
  • Providing ongoing reports to and consultation with the academic vice president and provost.
  • Keeping the University community informed of team activities.

Assessing Academic Programs

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    Assessment Overview

    Assessment of Student Learning 

    Assessment of student learning is the systematic collection of information about student learning, using the time, knowledge, expertise and resources available, in order to inform decisions about how to improve learning (Walvoord, Assessment Clear and Simple). At the heart of our assessment efforts is the work of Barbara Walvoord who states the three steps of assessment are:

    1. Articulate goals for student learning.
    2. Gather evidence about how well students are meeting the goals.
    3. Use the information for improvement.

    The defining feature of Walvoord's approach to assessment is her emphasis on the course-embedded assignment and on the professional expertise of the individual professor, whose experience in grading student work is the foundational assessment act. Walvoord suggests that professors become intentional, reflective, and explicit in identifying and sharing criteria for students’ expected level of performance on each assignment. She asks professors to develop rubrics that specify levels of performance across various criteria, to use the rubrics to score student work, and then to analyze the distribution of scores to discover patterns of strengths and weaknesses in student performance. When these patterns are reported at a department meeting, the ensuing faculty discussion often leads to suggested improvements in teaching methods, assignments, course design, or curricular coverage to ameliorate weaknesses. A department's assessment plan consists of student learning outcomes, assessment methods (embedded assignments) and criteria for success.


    Program Assessment Resources

    Overview of Assessment Plans and Annual Reports for Academic Programs

    The Assessment Team at Detroit Mercy is charged with advocating for the enhancement of student learning through purposeful, meaningful, and feasible student-outcome s assessment practices using an institution-wide assessment management system

    Assessment of Student Learning Overview

    Curriculum Outcomes Assessment Matrix

    Asessment Plan for Academic Programs : This form is completed once (due December 15, 2020 ) to capture the student learning outcomes of the program, the assessment methods, benchmarks of success, and assessment cycle. It is completed again when the program makes changes to any of the assessment plan components. The program must keep a copy of the plan for their records (a copy is sent via email upon completion). The University Assessment Team will also maintain a copy.  
    Due date for Assessment Plan was December 15, 2020  
    PDF of Blank Assessment Plan

    Worksheet: Developing a Program Assessment Plan

    Link to Assessment Plan Form

    Assessment Plan Rubric: The University Assessment Team uses a rubric to review and provide feedback to program faculty regarding their Program Assessment Plans.

    Program Assessment Plan Rubric

    Annual Assessment Report for Academic Programs : This report is completed annually by all academic programs by December 15th of the year following the assessment. This document will serve as evidence of student learning. A PDF of the document will be posted to the Academic Affairs website and the program should keep a copy for their records (a copy is sent via email upon completion). 
    Due date for Annual Assessment Report: December 15, 2021  
    PDF of Blank Annual Assessment Report 

    Worksheet: Annual Program Assessment Form

    Link to Annual Assessment Form

    Annual Assessment Report Rubric: The University Assessment Team uses a rubric to review and provide feedback to program faculty regarding their Annual Assessment Program Reeport.

    Link to Annual Assessment Report Rubric

Assessment Reports

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