Building KU's Teaching and Learning Community


CTE offers many resources for assisting you in assessing and documenting student learning. Below, you will find information on our annual celebration of assessment best practices, our STEM learning outcomes assessment program, and contact information for our consultation services. Additional information about documenting and studying student learning at KU can be found at the University’s freestanding assessment website.

Student Learning Symposium

Presented by the Office of the Provost and the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Student Learning Symposium is an annual event that brings together faculty, administrators, and staff to explore and use assessment results collected from multiple sources -- including KU Core review and degree-level assessment -- to illuminate what is going on in KU's classrooms and beyond.

The half-day program offers panel and discussion sessions about the study of student learning; several presentations from individual departments that serve as examples of best practices; a general plenary session that addresses a large, macro-level question through the presentation of institutional data; and lots of fun in the form of food, hands-on activities, and the bestowal of university-level assessment awards.

For more information, follow this link:

Assessment Workshops [Fall 2019]

In October, CTE will be hosting a series of one-hour workshops on several topics in the assessment of student learning. These topics were selected by faculty and are specifically designed to help KU's departments prepare for the Spring 2020 annual assessment reporting cycle. No RSVPs are required and all workshops will take place in CTE, 135 Budig.

Here’s the roster of workshops:

Oct 4 / 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM / Assessment 101: Introduction to Best Practices at KU

We’ll discuss the basic five-step assessment cycle, placing particular emphasis on “closing the loop” for course and curriculum improvement.

Oct 7 / 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM / Assessment as Inquiry

What sorts of questions are “fair game” as targets of study? How do we select questions worth answering? We’ll also discuss “alignment” of methods and inquiry.

Oct 9 / 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM / How to Build a Better Rubric

Most faculty tend to think of rubrics as square matrices: closed-ended, prescriptive, and uniform. Aside from these “analytic” rubrics, we’ll introduce holistic, visual, and checklist rubrics.

Oct 17 / 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM / Analyzing Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment Data

How do we move beyond mean-and-variation presentations of quantitative data? How do we use narrative-driven data to identify common themes or patterns of meaning? Are there certain ways of presenting this data that lead to actionable conclusions?

Oct 23 / 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM / Capstone Courses and Other Forms of Summative Assessment

Summative assessment is important in any degree program. We’ll discuss best practices and challenges inherent to summative assessment.

Oct 29 / 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM / Assessment's Impact: Measurement, Advocacy, and Storytelling

Beyond its value as a diagnostic tool, how can we use the assessment process to capture and represent impactful change in our programs? Can we use assessment’s impacts to advocate for resources or tell our program’s story to external audiences? This session will offer some discussion to departments who are ready to take the “next step” in their assessment practices.

If you have a role with assessment, we encourage you to attend a workshop or two (or more) in October. If you do not have a role with assessment, please share this note with department colleagues who do. Questions can be addressed to Joshua Potter at


CTE faculty fellows or staff members are available to work with individual departments or programs to discuss the process for defining, tracking, and reporting student learning outcomes. This can be done in addition to the collaborative workshops and/or online resources available on the CTE website.

Topics that are often discussed at the meetings would cover areas like:
  • Defining program goals
  • Identifying areas in curriculum for data collection
  • Selecting/Designing assessment methods
  • Making sense of assessment data
  • Reporting assessment results
  • Linking evidence to actions

Email Joshua Potter at to schedule a consultation or visit to your department.

KU STEM Analytics Program

KU is one of 12 universities to receive a $20,000 grant from the Association of American Universities as part of a major AAU project to improve STEM education. The grant will be used to promote faculty-led course and curricular changes that enhance student learning among undergraduates, and to help eliminate long-standing opportunity gaps for students from underserved groups. A new grant-funded initiative at the University of Kansas will promote the use of data to improve teaching, student learning and retention in science, engineering, technology and math programs. This project will build off the work begun in 2016, when KU, as a member of a multi-university partnership known as the Bay View Alliance, expressed a commitment to use data to better understand student learning and student success, and to align with university goals of increasing retention and graduation rates.

The KU initiative will be led by an interdisciplinary team that includes Andrea Greenhoot, a professor of psychology and the director of the Center for Teaching Excellence; Caroline Bennett, an associate professor of engineering; Mark Mort, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology; DeAngela Burns, vice provost for undergraduate studies; and Doug Ward, associate professor of journalism and associate director of the Center for Teaching Excellence.

The initiative aims to answer the following questions:
  • How well are entry-level courses preparing students for later courses in a program sequence?
  • Are redesigns of such courses leading to better preparation and higher rates of success in later courses?
  • Are there inequities in student achievement and success for students from underserved or other groups? How effective are our efforts to reduce such gaps?

The AAU initiative at KU will began in the Spring 2017 semester with a goal of including 10 STEM departments in discussions about how to use institutional data to inform course and curricular improvements that can foster better student learning and improved degree completion.

For more information, following this link to a statement from the AAU website.

News & Notes

See how CTE is leading the shift to flexible teaching at KU.

Visit the Flex Teaching sitewhich provides help for creating flexible courses that can shift between in-person and online.