Applied Learning Assessment Resources

Assessment Topics

The Applied Learning Model

The Applied Learning Assessment Center

The 6 elements of Effective Applied Learning

The 9 categories of Applied Learning at UNCW

Setting your Assessment Goals

Student Reflections and Example Prompts

Instructor Reflections and Example Prompts

The Applied Learning Model

 Applied Learning Model Infographic

Our model of Applied Learning consists of six Criteria of High Quality Applied Learning experiences and nine Categories which we use to classify all such experiences. For more information about these Criteria and Categories, click on the image above for the full version of the infographic or continue on to read about the Criteria and Categories below.

Back to Top

The Applied Learning Assessment Center

The Applied Learning Assessment Center is comprised of a team of talented assessment faculty, staff, and both graduate and undergraduate students who can help you develop an assessment plan, provide useful reports and feedback, work with you to design your data collection plan, and help you achieve your assessment goals. You can reach out to our Applied Learning Assessment Fellows if you have questions like:

  • How can I design my applied learning project assessment so that I can gather information relevant to my research?
  • What kind of data collection methodologies should I use in the assessment of my project?
  • Can you help us run a focus group to collect student response data?
  • What do my assessment results mean and how could I use this to improve my teaching?
  • And much more!

Meet our 2019-2020 Applied Learning Assessment Fellows

Jenn Vanderminden

Department of Sociology & Criminology

Josalin Hunter-Jones

School of Social Work

Jason Foster



Back to Top

The 6 Elements of Effective Applied Learning

UNCW defines applied learning as an intentional educational experience that includes specific learning outcomes, intentionality, acquisition and application of knowledge from coursework and other educational experiences, and summative conclusion (at minimum would include reflections)-- all of which should be evaluated. 

  • Learning Outcomes: Specific and measurable statements that include the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes that learners are expected to attain in an educational experience.
  • Intentionality: prior to the applied learning experience, an activity that requires an in-depth explanation of the purpose, expectations, goals for engaging in the applied learning experience, and translations of the experience to the students’ personal educational development.
  • Acquisition of Knowledge: acquiring new information through an educational experience.
  • Application of Knowledge: synthesizing and using information drawn from previous and current educational experiences.
  • Summative Conclusion: culminating event, experience, or practice that provides closure for the project/experience.
  • Reflection: during and after an applied learning experience, activities that require an in-depth examination of the impact or significance on the personal educational development and on others in the profession or in the field.  

Back to Top

The 9 Categories of Applied Learning at UNCW

These categories represent the different types of Applied Learning experiences at UNCW. Keep in mind that even if an experience falls into one or more of these categories, it only qualifies at High Quality Applied Learning provided that it meets the six criteria above. 

  • Study Abroad: International Educational Experiences
  • Internship/Practicum/Clinical: Practical job training and work experiences associated with a specific field of study
  • Student Leadership or Employment: Leadership and employment experiences that provide opportunities to develop transferable skills. Differs from Internships/Practicums/Clinicals in that it is not necessarily tied to a specific field of academic study.
  • Scholarship or Research: Scholarship includes the discovery, integration, application, and/or dissemination of knowledge. Research includes the systematic collection and/or analysis of information that generates and disseminates new knowledge. Both adhere to disciplinary conventions and practices.
  • Community Engaged Learning: Educational processes that include communication, interaction, involvement, and/or exchange between UNCW and a community entity for a range of outcomes.
  • Service Learning: Engagement that occurs as part of a credit-bearing academic course or extra-curricular activity. A service-learning activity integrates academic theory and community service.
  • Creative or Arts focused: Developing, consuming, performing, exhibiting, or teaching an artistic/expressive piece.
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Experiences involving translating an idea into a good or service that creates economic and/or social value
  • Experience-Based: Learning experiences that encompass the applied learning model but do not fit into the other 8 applied learning categories above. 

Back to Top

Setting your Assessment Goals

Whether you're planning to apply for an Applied Learning Pedagogy Initiative or you're just looking to enhance the assessment in your regular courses and proejcts, we've created a useful worksheet that can help you develop your Assessment Goals.

Feel free to use this handout as a guide as you think through your assessment goals. If you'd like to schedule a consultation with the Applied Learning Assessment Center, bringing your completed Assessment Goals sheet along can help us to better assist you and your project.

Back to Top

Student Reflection and Example Prompts

All students are required to submit a critical reflection. Student Reflections can be collected electronically or on paper and instructions for submitting student work are listed below. Please note that if student work is collected on paper, we will make copies and return the originals to you before assessment scoring takes place.

Frameworks for and Examples of Critical Reflection Prompts(PDF)

Sample Intention Prompts and Selected Student Responses (PDF)

Sample Final Reflection Prompts (PDF)

Scoring Rubric for assessing student Intention and Critical Reflections (PDF)

Note: Hyperlinks will only be active if you download the document and open it in Adobe Acrobat


Back to Top

Instructor Reflection and Example Prompts

All Pedagogy Initiative grant recipients are required to submit their own critical reflection. A few sample prompts are included below to get you started, and you are invited to go beyond the prompts to reflect on any part of the experience. Instructor Critical Reflections are typically due after the end of the semester at the same time Instructor end-of-experience surveys are due, and can be submitted in the same way you submit your students' critical reflections

Example Prompts for Instructor Critical Reflection(PDF)

Back to Top