The Office of Student Outcomes Assessment (SOA) believes that a "learning community" culture is required to move assessment beyond piecemeal and superficial change and toward transformation. To accomplish this, SOA embraces "transformational change" as described by Thomas Angelo (Doing Assessment As If Learning Matters Most, AAHE, May 1999) which calls for:
- developing shared trust; shared visions and goals; shared language and concepts; and
- identifying research-based guidelines that can orient our assessment efforts.
SOA is in agreement with Angelo's definition of assessment as published in Reassessing and Redefining Assessment (AAHE Bulletin, November 1995, Volume 48 Number 3, pages 7-9).
- making our expectations explicit and public;
- setting appropriate criteria and high expectations 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.