The Office for Teaching and Learning (OTL) and Wayne State University (WSU) offers instructors and departments a range of developmental and formative opportunities to assess and reflect on teaching and learning. The OTL offers individual consultation services that are confidential for instructors and anonymous for students. Additionally, the OTL facilitates workshops on topics related to course-based learning outcomes such as writing and assessing learning outcomes and aligning lectures and assessment activities.

  • Mid-semester Assessment Program

    The Mid-semester Assessment Program (MAP) is an opportunity for Wayne State University instructors to get timely student feedback regarding their perceptions of what is going well and what could be changed or improved while the course is in progress. This assessment strategy is useful for traditional, hybrid, and online environments and is available for all WSU courses with enrollment of at least 6 students (to preserve student anonymity). The MAP is voluntary, confidential, and feedback is provided only to the instructor. Deidentified aggregate data may be included in research studies of teaching and assessment across the university.

    The MAP follows a three step process:

    1. The first step is a preliminary meeting with an OTL consultant to review goals and to answer questions from the instructor.
    2. The second step is data collection. 
      • For courses with 65 or fewer students on main campus, an OTL consultant will visit the class to collect students' feedback during which students work together to answer two open ended questions:
        • What do you like most about this course and/or the instructor's teaching of it?
        • What suggestions would you make to improve your learning in this course or the teaching of it?
      • For courses with 65 or more students, students' feedback will be collected anonymously through an online survey. An OTL consultant will provide the survey link for the instructor to distribute to students.
      • For online courses or in-person courses that meet off main campus (i.e. satellite campuses, School of Medicine campus, or Mike Illitch School of Business campus, etc.) students' feedback will be collected anonymously through an online survey. An OTL consultant will provide the survey link for the instructor to distribute to students.
        Note: MAP's conducted online result in data that is just as robust and useful as those completed in person.
    3. The third step is a follow-up meeting to review key themes in students' aggregated feedback and to identify helpful instructional strategies and resources. 
  • Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM

    Would it help to know how you and your students are using class time?

    The OTL offers classroom observations using a behavioral based protocol to illustrate how students and instructors spend their time in the classroom. An OTL consultant comes to a typical class day, takes regular notations on how you and the students spend class time (i.e., whether you are lecturing, leading an active in-class assignment, showing a video, etc.) in 2-minute intervals. The data allows you and the OTL consultant to characterize how you divide your time between various student-centered methods of teaching over the class session. As an instructor, you can use this data to determine if your class could benefit from rebalancing the distribution of lecturing, learning activities, or other strategies. Additionally, this process allows you to better understand how your students are spending their class time and, most importantly, if they’re engaged in the material.

    OTL consultants are trained on how to watch for different faculty and student behaviors utilizing the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS), a short-hand coding methods to record student/instructor actions, created by by the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia.  Although the name suggests STEM, it can be applied across the disciplines. As with the Mid-semester Assessment Program (MAP), the OTL consultant typically first meets with the instructor prior to attending the class for a brief chat to explain the process and clarify any questions. Based on the observations detailing instructor/students’ behaviors, the consultant constructs a graphic that summarizes how the instructors and students are spending their time in class. Next, the OTL consultant meets with the instructor to discuss the results and consider steps going forward. To discuss this process or to schedule an observation please contact

  • Student Evaluation of Teaching

    Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET)

    Wayne State University has updated its Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) questionnaire, making it easier to fill out and more effective for students and faculty. This very brief video explains the process and benefits for instructors and students.

    Resources for Departments and Programs

    The Wayne State University community is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). For more information and resources on the accreditation process, contact the Office of Assessment.

  • Course based assessment

    Course based assessment involves various methods of assessing learning outcomes through the use of course goals, objectives, and content.  There are tremendous rewards that both instructors and students can gain from the utilization of appropriate course based assessments.  Some of these rewards include assisting instructors in making necessary modifications to course designs and better communication between instructors and students, resulting in a more effective learning process and experience for students and instructors alike.  

    To learn more about how to incorporate valuable assessments in course designs, read the booklet entitled, "Course-Based Review and Assessment: Methods for Understanding Student Learning," from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

  • Program assessment

    Program assessment involves assessing student learning outcomes that are associated with the specific educational goals and objectives established by a program of study.  The first step in this process involves clarifying departmental goals and objectives.  This process can be challenging as department faculty may have different views regarding what these goals and objectives should be. Wayne State University (WSU) Assessment encourages program assessment by offering various professional development opportunities, facilitating feedback processes, disseminating information through peer support structures and more. Additionally, you may find the WSU Academic Program Assessment Handbook helpful as an instruction to the basics of program assessment at WSU. 

    Once a department has reached a consensus on student goals and objectives, the task of implementing effective assessments can be equally challenging since faculty may have differing views on assessment.  There are, however, procedures that can be employed by departments to assist faculty in the development of a universally accepted statement on goals and objectives as well as appropriate program assessment.

    To learn more about establishing faculty consensus on student goals, objectives, and program assessments, read the booklet entitled, "Program-Based Review and Assessment: Tools and Techniques for Program Improvement," from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.