Education at OHSU

Assessment for Learners

Assessment for students
Photos by: EdCOMM Photography

What is Assessment?

The cycle of assessing student learning

Academic program assessment is the ongoing process of checking to make sure you are learning what the faculty think you are learning. Well-done assessment identifies changes which improve courses and academic programs so you are better prepared while at OHSU to move into your chosen careers.

From the faculty standpoint, assessment looks like:

  • Establishing learning goals
  • Providing learning opportunities (i.e., classwork, simulation activities, clinical experiences)
  • Measuring and observing student learning
  • Reflecting on what the data highlights
  • Using results to inform curricular practices

Relevance of Assessment to Learners

Student participation in assessment
Photo by: EdCOMM Photography

Quality assessment of academic and co-curricular programs which results in data-informed decision making to improve your learning environment allows you to:

  • Know that you are receiving a top-notch education worth the time, effort, and money you are investing
  • Be well-prepared for entering the workforce
  • Be well-supported by OHSU’s student services so your overall educational experience is successful

We encourage learner participation in assessment – you are a key stakeholder! See ideas of how to participate in the FAQ. If you are considering a career as an educator, getting involved with assessment work as a learner is a good way to explore one aspect of that career. 

What kinds of changes have been made?

Resulting changes
Photo by: EdCOMM Photography

See examples of improvements driven by assessment data in the Assessment in Action tab on our page for Educators.

Additionally, the institution uses one approach to assessment called Core Theme Indicators to inform academic and learning support, planning, and practices. Some data students may find interesting are listed in the 2019 Fact Book on pgs. 2-6 and 71-74.

Relevance of OHSU Core Competencies to Learners

OHSU Graduation Core Competencies are skills, knowledge, and abilities that every graduate will be assessed on and achieve before they graduate. For prospective students, these core competencies help you to identify if OHSU is a good fit for professional school. For current students, your curriculum has been intentionally designed to make sure that what you are taught will help you develop into a competent professional. The institutional core competencies, as well as your program and course learning outcomes, can help you to self-assess how you are progressing and becoming the health care professional or scientist you desire to be.

SOD student practical exercise photo
Photo by: EdCOMM Photography

Professional Knowledge and Skills
Demonstrate core knowledge, skills, and practices as defined by the discipline, professional licensing, or accreditation organization while being open to new perspectives, additional voices, and changes in schools of thought that impact the core knowledge, skills, and practices in the discipline.

Demonstrate discipline-specific behaviors, norms, and ethics and also challenge systemic racism inherent in professional expectations that cause undue burden and/or deny the full humanity of ourselves, our peers, and our patients.

Information Literacy
Recognize the power of information in educating, influencing, and understanding the world, while seeking and amplifying missing perspectives. With this lens, locate, critically evaluate, and effectively use information to participate in decision-making, quality improvement, and broader scholarly discourse.

Communicate effectively and equitably with diverse individuals, organizations, and communities to support stakeholder decision-making and promote culturally responsive exchanges of information.

Work effectively within collaborative, team- or teaming-based interprofessional environments while acknowledging positionality and intentionally making space for diverse perspectives.

Community Engagement, Social Justice and Equity
Apply principles of social justice, equity, and/or anti-racism through community-engaged practice, service, or scholarship.

Patient Centered Care
Clinical degree program graduates will collaborate with diverse individuals, families, and communities to provide quality trauma-informed care that is anti-racist and respectful of and responsive to preferences, needs, attitudes, beliefs, and values.

To learn more about program learning outcomes, including those that align with OHSU’s core competencies, check individual academic program websites for “Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)”, and/or curriculum maps, or ask program faculty for this information.

Student Services Competency Alignment

OHSU’s student services units (library, student learning support, student health and wellness, etc.) also align to our core competencies to support your overall success as a learner.

At the end of each term, OHSU requires the completion of both course and instructional evaluations. Some students may wonder, “Will anything come of these evaluations?” The answer is yes! These course evaluations are used to provide feedback directly to faculty and support faculty merit and promotion packets. We hope that you will be motivated to take these evaluations seriously and provide valuable information to faculty to use to more clearly communicate with and educate current and future learners.

  • What are some examples of how learning is assessed in my academic program?
  • What are some examples of how assessment in my program has led to specific improvements to the program and student learning?
  • What evidence do you have that students in my program are learning what faculty expect them to learn?

  • We welcome learner involvement on the OHSU Assessment Council. Email if you are interested in joining us! We are happy to set up a time to talk about what learner involvement in the Council could look like.
  • Ask your faculty if you can join a curriculum committee at the program level. This is a fantastic way to contribute student perspective and help improve programs and student learning.
  • All-Hill Student Council has opportunities for learners who want to contribute to revising the annual student satisfaction survey, among other activities.
  • We have an assessment work study position available for learners who qualify for work study through their FAFSA – email for more details.
  • Participate in institutional surveys when opportunities arise. We need your input and are eager to make improvements based on student feedback.