UNL assessment project featured by Association for Institutional Research

Jessica Jonson
Jessica Jonson

The Association for Institutional Research has highlighted in its latest publication a UNL online assessment project that has involved several colleges and programs over the last five years.

The article on PEARL - Program Excellence through Assessment, Research and Learning, which is an interactive system used to provide structure, resources and guidance to help colleges and programs collect, analyze and use data to improve student learning outcomes - appears in the national association's current edition of Professional File, its regular publication that showcases assessment strategies.

The piece was co-authored by Jessica Jonson, UNL's director of institutional assessment, and describes how the university implemented and utilizes the assessment system, which originated at Colorado State University.

PEARL offers organization, resources and assistance to help programs collect, analyze and use data on student learning outcomes to improve. The system also lets programs collaborate and share assessment instruments with one another. A group of trained faculty peer reviewers also provide coaching and feedback on PEARL plans, which helps encourage improvement over time.

"PEARL is a system that provides us a better way for programs to document what they want their students to learn, how they know their students are learning it and then using that information for program improvement," Jonson said.

The program involves the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the College of Education and Human Sciences, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

The article is available online at http://go.unl.edu/w9x. For more information about PEARL, go to http://go.unl.edu/abr.

- Steve Smith, University Communications

More details at: http://go.unl.edu/w9x