Welcome to the Assurance of Learning (AoL) process at the Hull College of Business.

In addition to the rich, diverse body of business knowledge students acquire in individual courses, some learning competencies are determined by faculty as vital for students’ career and personal success. These essential learning competencies warrant repeated opportunities for student practice and constructive feedback throughout the program. To monitor student progress and improve student learning of these competencies, faculty rely on the AoL process.

Assurance of Learning begins with broad learning competencies (a.k.a. goals) for students in each program (i.e. What do we want our students to learn?). For example, faculty have determined communication is a primary learning competency for BBA students to grasp before they graduate. These areas are crucial for BBA graduates’ success in today’s business world, and therefore, need to be reinforced throughout the program. The learning competencies for certificates and minors center around application of the concepts in that discipline area. The competencies for the BBA and MBA degree programs are:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork/groups
  • Decision-making

Student learning outcomes (SLOs) are then created that describe what the student is expected to do to show mastery of each learning competency. For example, a student learning outcome for the BBA competency communication is “Communicate effectively in written form.”

Finally, a program-level rubric provides a clear, detailed description of the student learning outcome, with criteria and traits that describe evidence of student mastery. These are used to score all direct measures, to produce valid, reliable data used in program improvement decisions.See dropdown “Program-level Rubrics” for a full list of rubrics for each program. Most direct measures are currently collected in courses near the end of the program, where students have had the most opportunities to practice the skills and knowledge needed for mastery of the outcome. Called "direct measures," they directly measure individual student work for mastery of outcome criteria.

A curriculum map provides a picture of where the student learning outcomes are introduced, reinforced, and expected to be mastered throughout the program, specifically in required courses.

Learning competency graph.

A “Close the Loop” cycle has a span of approximately two years from beginning to end. In the first year of the cycle, direct measure results (student performance data from assignments) are scored, collected, organized and analyzed, then used to inform pedagogical and curricular revisions to improve student learning on the learning competencies identified for the program. Exit surveys are completed by Seniors, to add “indirect measures” of student performance to the review. Over the second year of the cycle, these revisions are implemented, as the data collection begins again for the next cycle. To “close the loop” for a student learning outcome, data must be collected a second time, to measure the effectiveness of the curriculum/pedagogical revisions.

*Minor in Business Administration and Minor in Accounting programs are embedded minors, whose Assurance of Learning is completed within the BBA and BBA in Accounting programs.

**The Accounting major, Hospitality Administration Certificate, and Minor in Economics do not have Program-level Rubrics, as those outcomes are centered around technical skills, not soft skills. The Accounting major does have sub-objectives, which details the specific skills observed in direct measures, visible in the “2020-21 Assurance of Learning Plan –BBA” under the dropdown Assurance of Learning Annual Plan.

Though the process is managed by the Coordinator of Business Programs, decisions are driven by faculty. AoLOrg Chart_2022-23 is a full view of the organizational structure for Assurance of Learning. Faculty may serve in a number of ways:

  • Collect a direct measure (embedded assignment that measures student learning of a student learning outcome) from a course they teach
  • Score a direct measure for faculty review
  • Assist in designing direct measure instruments, often an adaptation of an existing assignment in a course, with oversight from the Academic Affairs Committee
  • Serve on the Academic Affairs Committee, which provides guidance and recommendations to faculty on curricular and pedagogical changes and oversees the entire AoL process
  • Review student data results on Fall and Spring Assessment Days to inform curricular and pedagogical revision decisions to improve student learning (all full-time faculty attend)

Guidelines for our Assurance of Learning process and reporting are set by two accrediting bodies, SACS (Southern Association of Colleges & Schools) and AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). We prepare reports for these two institutions on a rotating basis to provide evidence of our search for and efforts in continuous improvement of student learning. The Assurance of Learning deliverables are included in our accreditation consideration.



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