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Co-Curricular Assessment

Assessment of Co-Curricular Learning

The University Council on Learning Assessment (UCLA) at JHU recognizes that assessment in the co-curricular space is not as extensive as in academic spaces. Tracking students’ growth in these spaces is sometimes unrealistic, and the need for evidence of learning using one assessment may be sufficient to collect evidence of mastery of the content. Regardless, assessment in co-curricular learning still needs to follow the quality and rigor outlined by UCLA’s vision for best practices and quality assessments. In order to maintain the quality offerings in co-curricular learning expected at JHU, there is a need for: 1) co-curricular activities to articulate learning outcomes that describe the expected performance required by the end of the activity; 2) learning outcomes aligned to programmatic and or students stated goals and career expectations; 3) learning materials to align with well-defined learning outcomes, and to provide students with the skills, knowledge, and abilities they need to succeed; 4) learning outcomes to be evaluated using effective and authentic assessments that measure attainment of knowledge, skills, and abilities, and; 5) activities to deliver a quality and rewarding learning experience that enables students to achieve the expected and stated learning outcomes.

The figure below affirms UCLA’s vision on the need of evidence of learning, using quality materials and assessments. Assessments need to measure and be a part of learning and be outcome-based.

Creating Effective Learning Outcomes

UCLA recommends that when creating co-curricular activities learning outcomes, the divisions need to ensure that these outcomes reflect the following best practices: 1) Mastery Need to reflect the level of mastery necessary for the student to demonstrate level of knowledge, skill, or performance; 2) Measurability Are stated using measurable outcomes; 3) Relevancy Demonstrate skills and knowledge relevant to the student’s program of study or stated career goals, and 4) Accuracy Accurately reflect performance requirements associated with the stated learning outcomes.

Assessment Results and Evidence Tracking

Collecting data and tracking evidence of learning are crucial steps on the way to improvement. Therefore, collecting these evidence-based artifacts and evaluations in one system is paramount to ensuring the success of assessment best practices. To that end, UCLA recommends that all assessments are tracked in the JHU- Assessment Management System (JHU-AMS) and its associated JHU-CLR. Micro-credentials and badges are issued by the same system and can be shared on social media or directly with the appropriate stakeholders using the JHU-AMS.

Assessment data and results could be administered and collected by staff, instructors or faculty overseeing the activity, and uploaded to the system, or students’ performance can be evaluated directly in the JHU-AMS or the chosen Learning Management System.

In addition, we stress that data collected from assessment of co-curricular activities must be part of the overall data gathering for a course, an activity, a program, and/or a division, should be included in a student’s comprehensive learner record (CLR), and must be part of data analysis and application for overall improvements and resource allocation in these spaces.

Assessment Types, Methods, & Evaluation of Learning

Assessment methods in the co-curricular learning space could be but are not limited to group activities, discussions, presentations, observations, or quizzes. Assessment types could be diagnostic, formative, and summative depending on need. However, all these activities need to be associated with evaluative rubrics that represent the student’s performance in attaining mastery, proficiency, or not meeting expectations. The

evaluation of these activities using an established rubric that carefully aligns to learning objectives, is expected to be completed by the instructor in the course or activity.

Self and peer-evaluations are acceptable measures of learning when paired with other measures that are conducted by the instructor. Self or peer-evaluations cannot be used as the only measures that determine student performance, since they are not reliable in determining that the learner accurately attained the stated level of knowledge, skills, and abilities for the activity. 

Proposed Assessment Methods

Group activities

  1. Instructor evaluates participant performance based on observing activities.
  2. Have participants rate each other’s performance based on a rubric.


  1. Evaluate participants answers in discussions.
  2. Determine level of understanding based on a rubric that directly maps to expected competencies.


  1. Ask students to present to the group and evaluate their understanding of the concepts.
  2. Evaluation could be done by instructor, TA, peers, or self.


  1. Give a quiz at the end of the unit to determine attainment of knowledge of stated competencies.
  2. The quiz could be automatically graded by the system and links directly to competencies and a rubric.


  1. Observe candidates applying skills that will demonstrate that they acquired the stated outcomes.
  2. Create a rubric that will evaluate all learning outcomes/competencies related to the desired skills.
  3. Observations can be completed during the performance of the desired task.


  1. In addition of self-evaluating performance in the specific activities stated above, instructors could create a survey mapped to competencies, and built on a Likert scale that fits the pre-determined rubric.
  2. Ask students to evaluate their own performance, which could be normed against other evaluations, such as peer-evaluations.


  1. Ask participants to evaluate each other’s performance using a pre-determined rubric, based on established competencies. 

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