DISCLAIMER: This data in this section is fictitious and does not, in any way, represent any of the programs at Gallaudet University. This information is intended only as examples.

Data Analysis

This step involves your interpretation (analysis) of the information from your data summaries.

Definition Characteristics*
Analysis: Interpretation of program’s/unit’s findings. What are strengths and areas and in which improvement is needed. Analysis is:

  • Short and simple = easy to read and understand
    • Make use of simple charts, graphs, lists
  • Tells a story – NOT Perfect
  • Appropriate to stakeholder
    • Different versions available. Only give them what they need. For example, the Board might prefer lots of charts with brief explanations, while the Assessment Council might want charts and in-depth explanations.

*Characteristics adapted from: Suskie, L. (December, 2008). Understanding and Using Assessment Results. Paper presented at 2008 Middle States Commission on Higher Education Annual Conference.


Data Summary: Student improved in all areas on Post-Test although overall target was not met: 98% (15% increase) in C1 – target exceeded; still below target in other categories: C2 = 33% (310% increase); C3 = 56% (523% increase); C4 = 65% (67 increase). [Target Not Met]

Analysis: The initial analyses indicate quite positive student learning outcomes on each of the selected pre-test post-test items. In some test items, improvement between pre-test performance and the final exam was quite dramatic. Here are a few selected results:

  • Item #1 represents students’ highest achievement by far on the pre-test, as the majority (85%) of students were able to answer this item accurately. Just the same, final exam scores still increased (15%), showing modest yet positive student learning outcomes on this item.
  • Item #2: Despite having grown up with the Internet and computers, the great majority of students could not accurately answer this pre-test item that relies on basic knowledge of how computer databases – from web search engines to library research databases and online catalogs – are searched. There was a dramatic increase of more than 300% in the post-test scores in the category.
  • Item #3″ This item poses great challenges to students entering the course, as the great majority of them cannot identify a standard citation on the first day of class. Knowing how to interpret citations leads directly to knowing how to access the described material. From these pre-test results, we can posit that most students would not only not know what they were looking at when retrieving such citations from a database, print bibliography, or the free web. But also would not know the next appropriate steps to take to attempt independently to find the item as these vary somewhat by citation type.

Example adapted from: Iowa State University. Library 160: Measurement of Outcomes and Results.

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