Foundation of Knowledge is designed to help students achieve learning outcomes that define the distinctive NKU graduate. A challenge for academic programs, especially those that cut across college, department and disciplinary lines, is to create an environment that continually examines the extent to which students are achieving expected outcomes, to critically explore how courses and more specifically the learning experiences within those courses are helping students progress relative to the outcomes and to use that information to improve the program. NKU has designed a two-tier assessment plan to provide evidence of student learning within and across courses in Foundation of Knowledge.  The course level assessment plan provides a platform for examining how the designed learning environment and interactions between faculty and students are supporting achievement of our learning outcomes. The programmatic assessment plan examines the extent to which the cummulative learning experience in Foundation of Knowledge is supporting the development of the broad knowledge, skills and values that define the distinctive NKU Graduate.

Assessing student learning is a priority for the Foundation of Knowledge General Education Program.  The initial round of assessment revealed that the assessment strategy used was not adequate to provide the type of data necessary to help continually improve student achievement of the very outcomes faculty defined for our students.  We addressed this shortcoming quickly and used the findings from our intial assessment to revise the assessment strategy.  Beginning in Spring 2012, we are phasing in the new assessment plan.

This section of our web highlights our assessment activity in general education.  We are informing our assessment plan and dissemination strategy through the "Transparency Framework" developed by The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. (see below)


National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. (2011). Transparency Framework. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA). Retrieved from:

Central to our assessment effort is integrating teaching, learning and assessment to create a rich learning enviornment.  This goal guided us in the design of our modified assessment plan.  The two-tiered plan encourages continuing improvement of current courses through the Course Level Assessment plan informed by analysis at the programmatic level that helps us understand how students are progressing relative to our stated learning outcomes.  The Assessment Section of our website provides a public view of assessment findings and how they are being used to improve student learning at NKU.