Department assessment involves an ongoing process of collecting and analyzing information in order to determine if programmatic goals and objectives are being met.
For faculty, this process means that we need ways to determine whether we are effective in getting our students to learn what we feel they need to learn. Each of us grades and assesses students in our courses. We give tests, quizzes; we require papers and projects; we have students do oral presentations--all of these processes grade students on the work they do.
Department assessment does not mean grading or judging students, however; it means assessing the ways in which we lead students to accomplish specific learning objectives of our programs.