University Assessment System

Closing the Loop

Closing the Loop 

The most important part of the continuous improvement process is "closing the loop". Closing the loop occurs when faculty review learning outcome data, implement changes based on the data, and collect additional data to determined the impact of the changes.

While faculty discuss program changes regularly throughout the year, time is also given each fall and spring semester for departmental assessment meetings. During this time faculty: 

  • Review and discuss the learning outcome data, measure the impact of previous changes to see if improvements were achieved.
  • Update the improvement plan.
Closing the Loop Cycle


EXAMPLE | International Relations (B.A.) Improvement Plan

Furthermore, each program documents their individual continuous improvement process and continuous improvement changes on a regular basis:

EXAMPLE | Ministry & leadership (B.A.) Continuous Improvement Process Description

EXAMPLE | Nursing (B.S.N.) Continuous Improvement Changes

Using Data for Continuous Improvement:
Dance (B.A.)

In 2018, the program outcome #1 score for Dance (B.A.) was 2.98/4.00. This outcome measures students’ ability to create and defend choreographic works. To improve this area, faculty members:

  • Added a more comprehensive study in the element of time
  • Gave music restrictions to choreography projects
  • Added three self-assessments where students reflected on their accomplishments.

By 2020, the score for this outcome increased to 3.80/4.00.

Management (B.S.)

The Management (B.S.) program draws data from the Strategic Management (MGT 431) course for program outcomes three, four, and six. In the course, students demonstrate an understanding of firms' operations within industries from a macro perspective and the implementation of strategic planning. In fall 2018, scores were below the target of 3.5. Faculty recognized the need to improve the course by:

  • Requiring teams to focus on one case instead of multiple cases
  • Focusing student work on quality rather than quantity
  • Creating small working groups rather than using only large teams.

Scores improved as follows: 

Program Outcome Fall 2018 Spring 2021
#3 3.37 3.79
#4 3.29 3.81
#6 3.13 4.00


Elementary Education (B.Ed.)

In 2018, students scored a 220.59 average on the written constructed response in the Oklahoma Subject Area Test compared with a 221.1 state average. In response, the faculty began:

  • Integrating in-depth writing tasks aligned with professional examinations in several core courses
  • Providing students with exemplary examples of written assignments
  • Encouraging students to have non-education majors read their papers
  • Requiring students to submit work to the on-campus writing lab,
  • Providing them with test preparation through the Teacher Candidate Leadership Association.

By 2020, scores on the section improved to a 234.5 average.

Nursing (B.S.N.)

Graduates from the Nursing (B.S.) program in 2017 had an NCLEX-RN licensure pass rate of 79.55 percent, below the national average of 87.12 percent. Faculty members began:

  • Using instant feedback devices (clickers) in the classroom to increase engagement
  • Integrating Assessment Technology Institute (ATI) modules to focus on NCLEX-RN test preparation
  • Increasing the number of individual faculty-student meetings to review study habits.

By 2018, the average NCLEX-RN pass rate rose to 94 percent and remains above the national average.

Engineering (B.S.E.)

In 2017, upper-division students in the Engineering (B.S.) program earned scores of 2.68/4.00 for Engineering outcome (a), the ability “to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering” due to a persistent struggle with vectors and free-body diagrams. The Engineering faculty members:

  • Refocused the entry-level Physics course homework assignments to reinforce applied problem-solving, specifically with vectors

In 2022, primarily based on the changes, the Physics final exam scores increased from 66.8 percent in 2017 to 91.0 percent.

Ministry & Leadership (B.A.)

In the Ministry & Leadership program, as well as the entire College of Theology and Ministry, faculty have been tracking persistently low residential scores for “Style and Format,” with 2.97/4.00 in 2020-21, 3.27 in 2021-22, and 2.94 in 2022-23. Following an assessment of the problem from an overall program point-of-view, faculty members have identified that using multiple format styles (e.g., Turabian, SBL, and APA) in different courses may lead to student confusion.

In 2022-23, faculty initiated a thorough revision of the Undergraduate Style manual and are implmenting it in 2023-24. Results of these changes are forthcoming.



Closing the Loop

Assessment System Continuous Improvement

Recent Improvements

- Program improvement plans incorporated into the new Annual Improvement Plan template

Next Steps

- Continually evaluate the impact of program changes to improve student learning

- Improve "closing the loop" descriptions and data-informed annual improvement plans

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