Step 1: Set up your Excel spreadsheet

The assessment process begins with articulation of student learning outcomes and continues with the gathering of evidence of students’ achievement of these outcomes. Once you have this evidence, Excel becomes an effective tool for interpreting it.

You can use Excel to determine areas of strength and areas in need of improvement, which will empower you to make informed decisions about where and how to focus your efforts to improve student learning.

Click on a link below to see how to do this for:

Rubric Scores
Test Scores

A Note on Survey Data

If you are working with survey data, proceed as you would with test scores. If your survey is anonymous and you do not know the names of the students who took it, enter an alphanumeric or numeric code for each respondent (e.g., 001, 002, etc.) instead of his or her name.

Rubric Scores

Starting with a blank Excel spreadsheet:

  1. Leave the top leftmost cell blank (the cell in Row 1, Column A).
  2. Enter your students’ names down the first column.
  3. Enter the elements of your rubric across the first row. (Rubric elements are the component dimensions or skills of the learning outcome the rubric is being used to assess, indicated in Bold in the example below. They usually appear in the first column of the rubric.)

Rubric Scores Example

Imagine that, in order to assess students’ achievement of your program’s Written Communication Skills learning outcome, you scored student papers using the following rubric:

Example Rubric w RED Text Removed 1

You would set up your spreadsheet as shown below (click on a cell to start typing; use the Tab key to move right and the Enter key to move down):

Rubric Example Spreadsheet w Headings Only 2

Return to Excel for Assessment        Next: Step 2: Enter your scores into your Excel spreadsheet 

 

 

Test Scores
Starting with a blank Excel spreadsheet:

  1. Leave the top leftmost cell blank (the cell in Row 1, Column A).
  2. Enter your students’ names down the first column.
  3. Enter your test items across the first row.

Test Scores Example
Imagine that you administered the following test to assess your program's Critical Thinking Skills learning outcome:

A scientist working at a government agency believes that an ingredient that appears in cow’s milk causes ADHD. To support his theory the scientist notes the following evidence: 99.9% of the people who have ADHD consume cow’s milk regularly. ADHD rates are extremely low in areas where cow’s milk is not consumed.

Item 1 (2 points): Do the data presented by the scientist strongly support his theory? Yes_____ No_____

Item 2 (3 points): Are there other explanations for the data besides the scientist’s theory? If so, describe.

 Item 3 (5 points): What kind of additional information or evidence would support the scientist’s theory

You would set up your spreadsheet as shown below (click on a cell to start typing; use the Tab key to move right and the Enter key to move down):

Test Example Spreadsheet w Headings Only 4

Return to Excel for Assessment Homepage                Next: Step 2: Enter your scores into your Excel spreadsheet