Assessment is critical, but we cannot do it ourselves. We need students to help us with this endeavor. Students help by submitting their work to the department. They submit their work anonymously and only for the purposes of helping a department assess its effectiveness and success. Students are not graded in this process.
In order to be able to assess a major program, professors may ask students to sign a permission form allowing them to collect student work in the courses required for the major. Faculty will then collect work during the semester, and it will be placed on file, anonymously, in the department office.
An assessment committee will read through folders to see what students have learned and produced in those courses. All names will be removed from work, and the department guarantees students that this work will be used solely for the purposes of improving instruction within the department.
In other words, students have nothing to lose by contributing to departmental assessment. In fact, they have much to gain. The department is committed to improving instruction, and assessment is the most effective means to discover areas that need attention and improvement. Thus, student learning can only be improved over a period of time through effective assessment measures.