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Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Analytics

Use of Results Instructions


This section explains the actions taken based on the assessment results, and assists in documenting changes and the reasons for the changes.

Guidelines:

  • Link the changes (e.g., curricular changes or changes in assessment measures and/or methods) to the assessment results.

  • Evaluate and make changes to improve assessment measures and methods, if needed.

  • The changes proposed need not be completed by the time the Assessment Report is submitted, but there should be a concrete plan to address the issues identified with a timetable and persons responsible.

Examples:

ELCT 350 instructors state that the students showed good ability in using modern engineering tools to solve problems, but struggled with formalization of the problem itself. Instructors will improve time management in class and hold meetings in the computer lab to work on problem formalization. (Refers to Example #1 in Assessment Results above)

In this case the problem seems to be broad and not related to a specific student. The assessment of the problem is that four students joined the program with a lack of background in this area. The instructor will assess the situation at the beginning of the class in order to target the specific population. Results will be compared with the results in the next Qualifying Exam to determine if there is a systematic problem in this area. (Refers to Example #2 in Assessment Results above)

Although a student satisfaction survey was administered to assess our learning outcome (that students will apply conflict resolution skills in specific situations), we later realized that opportunities to demonstrate these skills were not offered in the specified course. The instructors who teach PSYC 430 will meet to determine appropriate activities that can be added to the curriculum. Additionally, the instructors will create a scoring rubric so this learning outcome can be assessed more directly.

Our accrediting agency recommended that we include more assessments throughout the curriculum. We targeted projects and activities that students complete in their coursework and student teaching. We developed rubrics that addressed and incorporated CEC standards. Not all the rubrics are as polished as we would like so we will continue this in Fall 2008. [Note: Although this is not directly related to the assessment results, it is still important to use this Annual Report to document programmatic changes.  Be aware that some of the changes must be based on the assessment results.]

Portfolios from students were completed as an afterthought and were not in the same format nor did they fully address the standards. The use of the blackboard portfolio system will allow us to provide a similar format for all students to complete their reflection on the program in relationship to the CEC standards. We will start introducing the system in EDUC 750 in Spring 2009 and hopefully by next fall these portfolios will be more complete and robust.

The numerical ratings in the rubric did not provide enough information to the committee to guide any reforms. Next year, at the time of each student’s thesis defense, committee members will also be required to note where the weaknesses were in those students with lower ratings. This will make it much easier when they go back to address why a particular set of scores was so low.