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Integrating learning outcomes and assessment into the curriculum: a case study

Bob Ferguson (Professor of Psychology and Director of Academic Assessment, Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa, USA.)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 22 May 2007




The purpose of this paper is to identify approaches that have worked well into gaining faculty support and administration support for institutional attention to assessment and learning outcomes


Reflection on ten years of sustained attention to assessment and outcomes at Buena Vista University provides insight into what has made a positive difference.


The paper finds that for incrementally bringing faculty on board, five strategies have been useful: capitalizing on the familiar, using embedded assessment, initiating substantive discussions, avoiding the “accrediting agency” argument, and identifying early adopters. Administrative leadership and administrative structures were both required to move this forward. Given this attention, there are benefits for faculty, for administration and for students.


Ten years of sustained endeavor at a liberal arts college provide numerous insights, especially on faculty acceptance, that are likely to be applicable in other academic institutions.



Ferguson, B. (2007), "Integrating learning outcomes and assessment into the curriculum: a case study", On the Horizon, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 80-88.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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