University Core Assessment Plan

General Education Assessment Task Force

October, 2007

 

Introduction

 

Rationale

 

Instructors assess their students routinely to measure their grasp of concepts covered in a course.  If a teacher finds that most students are confused on a topic, they would naturally try to alter their instruction to better reach their students.  This process is done in every classroom on campus, and most instructors would agree that it is an important part of being a good teacher.  Institutional assessment builds on this by merely asking instructors to keep track of the assessment and revision process, so that trends can be followed across campus.  Institutions of higher education face increasing external pressures for accountability on student learning.  According to the Spellings report, “Colleges and universities must become more transparent about . . . student success outcomes. . . . Student achievement, which is inextricably connected to institutional success, must be measured by institutions on a ‘value-added’ basis . . . .” (p. 4, US Department of Education, 2006).  Accrediting agencies, such as the North Central Association (NCA) of the Higher Learning Commission also have high expectations for institutional assessment of student learning.  The final report of the 2006 NCA accreditation visit found UW-L’s assessment processes to be lacking, including assessment of the General Education Program.  Specifically, the final report urges the faculty to “complete the revision of the General Education program, including developing a plan for systematically assessing this program, and then implement it.” (italics added).  Therefore, NCA is requiring UW-L to submit a report in January of 2009 detailing how we are improving our assessment processes.  Clearly, UW-L must adopt better assessment processes for our general education program; however, assessing simply to satisfy external bodies only creates busy-work.  Rather, it is important that we create an environment in which we use information to inform decision making about our programs in a way that assures that we are serving students to the best of our, and our students’, abilities.  The intention of this assessment plan is not to increase meaningless work, but to help us know what our students are learning and to stimulate thinking and conversations about how we might maximize that learning.

 

Executive Summary

 

Course-embedded Assessment:

The following structure is proposed to ensure that student learning outcomes are being assessed in university core courses and that the assessment results are being used to drive curricular reform.  Departments will not be penalized for the results of their assessment of student learning outcomes.  However, the General Education Committee has the option to revoke the university core status of any course if a department does not make a good faith effort to carry out any of steps 1-3 below.

 

  1. Instructors in each university core course will identify 1-3 university core student learning outcomes that their course meets, and design an assessment tool for each outcome.  For courses with multiple sections, the same assessment tool will be used in all sections.
  2. The assessment tools will be presented to the Assessment Advisory Committee, and then to the General Education Committee for approval, and finally administered in the appropriate courses.
  3. The resulting assessment data will be collected by the departments and analyzed.  A report containing the assessment data, and any curricular reforms the department decided to make in response to the data will be submitted to the General Education Committee.

 

Institutional Assessment

The following assessment instruments will be administered by UWL to students, faculty or alumni.  These include direct and indirect measures that will allow us to make external comparisons to similar sized schools nationally.

 

  1. The Collegiate Learning Assessment
  2. National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
  3. Faculty, Student and Alumni Surveys

 

Background

 

The General Education Assessment Task Force began meeting on July 23, 2007, to prepare a response to the following charge from Interim Provost Bill Colclough: 

 

The task force will develop a comprehensive plan to assess university core learning outcomes that describes:

1. University core learning outcomes.

2. Assessment methods, including the instruments that will be used and the types of data that will be collected.

3. How the assessment procedures will be implemented.  Who will be responsible for administering the assessment plan, coordinating the assessment procedures, collecting and analyzing the data, and summarizing and reporting the results.

4. How assessment results will be used to make decisions intended to improve the program. Who will review the results? In NCA’s terminology, what are the “mechanisms to use assessment data for systematic improvement?”

5. The rationale/reasons/justification for the various components of the plan (e.g. Why use course embedded assessment? Why use the Collegiate Learning Assessment?   Why use surveys of students and faculty? What is the justification for how students will be selected for participation in standardized tests?).

6. Potential problems, challenges and implications for implementation and/or issues that need to be resolved in order to implement the plan (e.g. What types of materials, support and training might be needed to help instructors and departments learn to do course embedded assessment? How can the GEC promote university-wide buy in of the plan? What kind of incentives will be used to get good faith participation by students?).  

7. The types of resources needed to implement the plan and estimate of costs.

8. A time table for implementation of the assessment procedures.

 

The Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS) publication, Improving Learning in General Education:  An AGLS Guide to Assessment and Program Review (hereafter AGLS Guide), provides a systems analysis process to guide ongoing program improvement, the most difficult to achieve of the current accreditation standards related to assessment.  A team from AGLS combined best practices for quality improvement through program assessment with best practices and current standards in general education to produce the AGLS Guide.  It consists of a set of questions in four categories (Institutional Choices, Action Steps, Informed Judgments, and Further Improvements).  Repeated analyses can identify weaknesses in each system that can help generate improvements. 

 

Our development of a GE assessment plan has been structured by the AGLS Guide because it addresses all the issues in the charge systematically and structures our analysis according to current best practices.  We recommend that university core assessment teams, coordinators, and the General Education Committee adopt it as a regular feature of their oversight of the university core program. 

 

The Task Force chose to focus on the following four questions for the immediate future, as they seemed to capture our charge and reflect where UW-L is at the current time.  We expect that as assessment data are gathered and reviewed future assessments will address other questions posed in the AGLS Guide


 

Action Steps

A1.  How do planning and operational processes for GE produce a “purposeful, coherent, engaging, rigorous, and cumulative” curriculum? 

A8.  How do our faculty use the GE learning objectives as standards for grading and otherwise evaluating student work? 

Informed Judgments

J1.  What measures of student success do we regularly collect and study?

Further Improvements

I1.  To what extent does our faculty examine assessment results, discuss their implications, and use them to make improvements in the program?

 

Assessment Infrastructure

 

To instigate successful assessment processes for our university core program, that leads to the use of assessment results to improve student learning, we will need to implement several changes to our assessment infrastructure.  These changes would not only support assessment of the university core program, but other campus assessment as well, such as annual departmental academic program reviews. 

 

First, the Task Force recommends that UW-L hire an Assessment Coordinator who is supported by an Assessment Advisory Committee.  We further recommend that each academic department name a Departmental Assessment Liaison

  • The Assessment Coordinator will be responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating university-wide assessment data, as well as providing support to departments who might request it.  The Assessment Coordinator will be coordinating the flow of information from various committees and departments, and will not be making recommendations, but rather ensuring proper communications.  The assessment coordination will work in conjunction with the assessment advisory committee and General Education Committee to develop processes for facilitating the discussion of the larger scale implications of the general education assessment work.
  • The Assessment Advisory Committee will consist of five faculty or instructional academic staff, one from CBA, two from CLS, two from SAH, with some expertise in the area of assessment.  The Assessment Coordinator will invite faculty and instructional academic staff to apply (see Appendix A).  The Senate Executive committee will review the applications and appoint members to the committee in consultation with the Assessment Coordinator.  Terms will be five years, with the goal of having one member term expire each year.  During the first year, the following terms will be created:  SAH 2-year term, CLS 3-year term, CBA 4-year term, SAH 5-year term, and CLS 6-year term.  The primary responsibility of the Assessment Advisory Committee will be to assist the assessment coordinator to review assessment processes and make recommendations for changes such that assessment results will be maximally useful in informing decision making.  The Assessment Advisory Committee will receive and review assessment plans for university core courses from departments.  The committee will make recommendations about the quality of the plan to the General Education Committee.   The committee also will review assessment data and make recommendations based on those changes.  Given the large number of proposals and reports to be reviewed (there are X general education courses), and the importance of the recommendation to the General Education Committee, this responsibility should not be given to a single individual, but rather to a committee.  In addition, this will give an independent assessment of General Education courses, and allow the General Education Committee to focus on other duties in addition to reviewing assessment reports.  Quite likely, much of the work will be accomplished outside of the academic year.
  • The General Education Committee will be responsible for holding departments accountable for engaging in the assessment process and using the assessment results in decision making.  The General Education Committee will have the authority to revoke the university core status for courses if departments fail to make a good faith effort in executing the assessment plan. The General Education Committee will be responsible for reviewing the data and recommendations received from the assessment coordinator and assessment advisory committee and propose any needed revisions to the university core program based on those data and recommendations.
  • Departmental Assessment Liaisons will relay information between the Assessment Coordinator and their own department. 

 

Second, the Task Force recommends that UW-L institutionalize processes to review and discuss assessment results for decision making purposes.  As will be described later in this report, the Task Force is recommending that we collect data about the university core program that are both course-specific  (course embedded) and university-wide.  Again, to best utilize the data for decision making purposes, we recommend that UW-L institutionalize an Assessment Results Discussion Day.  Specifically, we recommend that time be set aside, such as a morning or afternoon during pre-semester week activities in January for faculty and staff to discuss assessment results.  This event would be organized by the Assessment Coordinator.  Additionally, we are proposing a feedback loop for course-specific assessment plans and data as illustrated in Figure 1.

 

 

 

Figure 1.

 

 

Assessment Processes

 

Assessment processes will include both direct and indirect assessments of student learning.  Direct assessments include measures of actual student learning, such as all or part of an evaluation instrument (e.g., assignments and exam questions) already used in courses to evaluate student learning, as well as standardized measures (e.g., Collegiate Learning Assessment). 

 


 

direct Measures

 

 

Course-Embedded Assessment

 

Summary of Course-Embedded Assessment and Rationale

 

Course-embedded assessment will be used as a direct measure of student learning within the university core program.  This method has been deemed one of the best forms of general education assessment by assessment experts (Walwoord, 2004).  Furthermore this model fits well with recently approved changes to UW-L’s Format for APR Self-Study Report (approved by APR April 2006, approved by Faculty Senate April 2006).  In Section III of the APR report, programs are to “State the learning outcomes for all University Core courses taught through the department and the assessment of these outcomes and any important changes made to the courses due to assessment data.”  This change makes departments accountable for assessment in their university core courses.  Results of assessments are only used to facilitate student proficiency in the learning outcomes at the programmatic level.  Assessment results in individual courses cannot and will not be used in the evaluation of individual instructors in any way[1], although failure to participate in assessment can be held against both individual instructors and departments.  The General Education Committee has the option to revoke the university core status of any course if a department does not make a good faith effort to collect information and use the information to make decisions about how to maximize student learning.

 

Course-embedded data collection and reporting procedures:

 

1.       Instructors of university core courses must identify at least one, but no more than three, student learning outcomes that are a major focus of that course.  The outcomes must be selected from the University Core Program Student Learning Outcomes that were approved in Fall 2005 by Faculty Senate (http://www.uwlax.edu/generaled/GE%20Outcomes.doc).  For courses with multiple sections, instructors must agree on a common outcome(s).

 

2.       At least one assessment instrument that measures student performance of at least one of the identified student learning outcomes must be developed.   This assessment exercise may take the form of an essay question on a mid-term or final exam, a selection of multiple choice questions on a quiz or exam, a course assignment, essay, oral presentation, or other measure.   For courses with multiple sections, the same instrument must be used by all instructors.  We realize that different instructors often do not use common measures and that choosing such measures may be challenging.  However, as we need to assess our university core at the programmatic level, as opposed to the individual course level, it is important to have such commonly identified learning outcomes and measures of those outcomes.

 

3.       The assessment instrument must include a 5-point scoring scheme for the student learning outcome(s).  It is important to note that the students’ grades for class purposes might be quite different than the results of the assessment of the learning outcome, as often assignments, etc., are used by instructors to evaluate many aspects of student knowledge and abilities.  This scoring scheme is specific to the learning outcome.  The scoring scheme, whether it is a rubric or other evaluation mechanism, must use the following anchor terms and explain the rationale for scoring student work at each level:

1.       None

2.       Limited

3.       Proficient

4.       Advanced

5.       Exemplary

The instrument and scoring scheme will then be submitted, with rationale of why the exercise is appropriate in measuring the selected outcome, for departmental approval.  The exercise, rationale, and scoring scheme will then be presented to the Assessment Advisory Committee for review and recommendation and then to the General Education Committee for approval. 

 

4.       Departments may collect data at any time and will submit results of course-embedded assessments to the Assessment Coordinator on a biennial basis, in the spring of odd-numbered years.  

 

5.       The Assessment Coordinator will use the analysis to present a university core assessment report to the General Education Committee and Faculty Senate.  Furthermore, the statistical analysis results will be reported to the appropriate departments.  Data from multiple sections of a course will be reported as an aggregate for each outcome.

 

6.       To ensure systematic improvement in General Education courses, it is essential that departments discuss the results of their course embedded assessment, and identify ways to improve student learning. Departments will use the results of the analysis of the assessment exercise to develop an action plan that identifies strategies for addressing student challenges in learning.  The departmental action plan will then be submitted to the Assessment Advisory Committee, and then to the General Education Committee.  In subsequent years, departments should specifically address in their report whether or not the changes they made improved student learning outcomes.

 

7.       The General Education Committee has the option to revoke the university core status of any course if a department does not make a good faith effort to; 1) develop a common assessment instrument for a student learning outcome, 2) administer the instrument in all sections of the course, and 3) analyze and discuss the results to develop a departmental action plan .

 

See Appendix B for guidelines and helpful hints for developing course embedded assessment tools.

See Appendix C for examples of course embedded assessment.

See Appendix D for examples of rubrics for evaluating university core student learning outcomes.

 

 

The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA)

 

Summary of the CLA and Rationale

 

The CLA measures critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, and written communication. It uses “direct measures of ability in which students actually perform cognitively demanding tasks from which quality of performance is scored.”

 

Some of the CLA measures emphasize written communication skills whereas others involve realistic performance tasks. The CLA measures a student’s ability to articulate complex ideas, examine claims and evidence, support ideas with relevant reasons and examples, sustain a coherent discussion, and use standard written English.

 

All the tasks are appropriate for college students across a wide range of undergraduate academic majors and university core programs. All CLA measures are administered online using open-ended prompts that require constructed responses: there are no multiple choice items.

 

Because the test is given to freshmen and seniors, the results will indicate the value added to the abilities of UW-L students. The test will also help us assess the impact of changes in the curricula and teaching and compare the performance of UWL with the national sample of several hundred institutions.

 

The CLA measures the types of complex abilities at the heart of university core—critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, written communication. Of course there is no single test that measures all UW-L university core learning outcomes; however, there is significant overlap between what the CLA measures and what we teach in the university core. Moreover, the CLA is a validated and reliable instrument that will allow us to monitor student performance and progress over time.  In 2006-07 the General Education Committee presented an assessment timeline to the faculty senate and indicated the need to use a standardized test as one aspect of university core assessment. The GEC examined several tests for possible use and selected the CLA. The General Education Assessment Task Force has incorporated the CLA into the comprehensive plan to assess university core outcomes.

 

Administration and Reporting Procedures:

 

The CLA is administered to first-year students in fall semesters and to seniors in spring semesters.  Samples will consist of approximately 100 first-year students and 100 seniors, to produce statistically valid results.  It is important that samples are representative of the larger student body.  First-year students will be recruited from classes that many first-year students take during their first semester, for example CST 110, Eng 110, or UWL 100.  Gathering a representative sample of senior students proves more difficult, as most capstone courses are major specific.  Therefore, a random sample of seniors will be recruited and offered some incentive for participation.  The assessment coordinator will be responsible for generating samples and administering the test.  The CLA will be administered every two years[2], alternate to the NSSE (see below for a description of the NSSE).  Resources to cover cost of the CLA, $6500 per year, will be provided by the Provost’s Office.

 

The Assessment Coordinator will be responsible for administering the survey, analyzing results, and writing reports to various constituencies.  A special university core assessment report will be generated. This report will be forwarded to the General Education Committee and posted on the university core website.  The results of the CLA will be discussed during the Assessment Results Discussion Day.

Indirect Measures

 

Indirect measures provide information about student, faculty, and alumni perceptions of the program, as well as indicating the extent to which students encounter experiences that research indicates predicts learning. 

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

 

Summary of the Test and Rationale

 

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) assesses college students’ involvement in curricular activities that are associated with academic achievement.  The NSSE is based on extensive research that shows that “the time and energy college students devote to educationally purposeful activities is the single best predictor of their learning and personal development.”  The survey includes items “that are known to be related to important college outcomes” and encompasses a broad range of activities from such things as the number of papers student write and participation in class discussions to their involvement in experiential learning and extracurricular activities.  The NSSE is a national survey, therefore UW-L can compare performance of its students to comparable institutions. 

 

The NSSE comprises approximately 80 items about college life, plus several demographic information items.  One item, in particular, asks students specifically about general education:  To what extent has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in acquiring a broad general education?  In addition, many additional items relate to the University Core Student Learning Outcomes (see Appendix E for a list of items by student learning outcome category).

 

UW-L has been participating in the NSSE regularly since 1999 and will continue to participate as part of UW System requirements.  Many of the questions provide indirect evidence of the effectiveness of several University Core Student Learning Outcomes.  As UW-L has and will continue to have these data, it makes sense to use the data as we assess the university core curriculum.

 

Administration and Reporting Procedures

 

The NSSE is administered in the spring semester.  First-year students and seniors comprise the sample.  UW-L currently participates in the NSSE in even numbered years as required by UW System.  As it is a System requirement, UW System funds are used to pay for the administration, therefore no additional resources are needed to administer the test.  For the past several years, UW-L has used the web-based survey.  During the most recent administration (2006), undergraduate student public relations interns from the Communication Studies department helped to advertise the NSSE, and we achieved a response rate of over 50%.

 

The assessment coordinator has been, and will continue to be responsible for administering the survey, analyzing results, and writing reports to various constituencies.  A special university core assessment report will be generated based on related questions.  This report will be forwarded to the General Education Committee and posted on the university core website.  The results of the NSSE also will be discussed during the Assessment Results Discussion Day.

 

Faculty, Student and Alumni Surveys

 

Summary of the Tests and Rationale

 

The Task Force created three parallel surveys to be used with faculty, students and alumni.  Questions were drawn from previous student, faculty, and alumni surveys, and Assessing General Education:  A Questionnaire to Initiate Campus Conversations (AAC&U), and wrapped around the 2005 University Core Student Learning Outcomes (see Appendix F for faculty, student and alumni surveys).  Perceptions inform the General Education Committee about the effectiveness with which University Core program is addressing community and societal needs, and whether students perceive the program as a “purposeful, coherent, engaging, rigorous, and cumulative” experience.

 

Administration and Reporting Procedures

 

The Assessment Coordinator will administer surveys to faculty, students and alumni on a biennial basis.  The Coordinator will then analyze and summarize the results and report the results to the General Education Committee for review.  Again, results will be posted on the university core website and discussed during the Assessment Results Discussion day.

 

 

Evaluation of the Assessment Process

 

The Task Force recommends that assessment processes be reviewed by both internal and external bodies.  First, on a biennial basis, the Assessment Advisory Committee will review the assessment data and processes and make recommendations to improve the process (e.g., are the data useful, is the timeline appropriate, are samples representative, are rubric guidelines helpful, are departments getting information that they find useful).  Second, the Task Force recommends UW-L’s university core assessment procedures be reviewed by external bodies every five years.  Every 10 years, NCA reviews our assessment processes and plans.  The Task Force recommends that, between-accreditation reviews, UW-L hire an assessment consultant external to the university (e.g., from the Carnegie Foundation; estimated cost $1,000) to review our processes and plans. 

 

 


 

Timetable

 

Semester

Activity

Fall 2007

·          Administration of the CLA to first-year students.

Spring 2008

·          Instructors select course specific student learning outcomes and submit to the Assessment Coordinator and General Education Committee.

·          Administration of the CLA to seniors.

·          Administration of the NSSE.

Fall 2008

·          Instructors develop course-embedded assessment instruments and submit instruments, scoring schemes, and rationales to Assessment Advisory Committee and General Education Committee for approval (Training will be provided at the annual Conference on Teaching and Learning)

·          Trial run of course-embedded data collection.a

·          Assessment Coordinator summarizes 2007-2008 CLA and NSSE data and reports results to the General Education Committee.

·          Administration of student, faculty and alumni surveys.

·          Administration of the CLA to first-year students.

Spring 2009

·          Second trial run of course-embedded data collection.a

·          Assessment Coordinator analyzes and summarizes data from faculty, student, and alumni surveys and reports results to the General Education Committee.

·          Campus-wide discussion of 2007-2008 CLA and NSSE results.  (January).

·          Administration of the CLA to seniors.

Fall 2009

·          Course-Embedded data collection. 

·          Assessment Coordinator submits course-embedded assessment data to the General Education Committee for review. 

·          Assessment Coordinator summarizes 2008-2009 CLA data and reports results to the General Education Committee.

Spring 2010

·          Course-Embedded data collection.a

·          General Education Committee reviews all data and submits a report to faculty senate.

·          Campus-wide discussion of 2008-2009 CLA results (January)

·          Assessment Advisory Committee reviews assessment processes and makes recommendations for revisions.

·          Administration of the NSSE.

·          Departments submit results of course embedded assessment to the Assessment Coordinator. 

a Data can be collected multiples times during this two year period and submitted for analysis.  Departments are encouraged to collect data on an annual basis and use data accordingly.  For courses with large numbers of sections or students, departments may submit data for a representative sample of students in the course.  The sample should consist of no fewer than 20% of students enrolled. 

 

References

 

Improving Learning in General Education:  An AGLS Guide to Assessment & Program Review.   Muncie, IN:  Association for General and Liberal Education, 2006.

 

Meacham, Jack,  Assessing General Education. A Questionnaire To Initiate Campus Conversations..  Washington, D.C.:  Association of American Colleges & Universities, 1997.

 

NCA team report http://www.uwlax.edu/nca/pdf/coredocs/team_finalreport.pdf

 

Spellings report http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/hiedfuture/reports/final-report.pdf

 

Walvoord, Barbara, Assessment Clear and Simple: A Practical Guide for Institutions, Departments, and General Education.  2004


 

Appendix A

 

Application for Assessment Advisory Committee

 

Assessment of student learning is becoming increasingly important.  Institutions of higher education are facing external accountability pressures.  More importantly, understanding what and how students are learning is critical in our attempts to continuously improve our programs.  As the Assessment Advisory Committee is designed to serve as a resource for several constituents on campus (e.g., General Education Committee, Academic Program Review, Departments), it is important that members have some experience and expertise in techniques and tools used to assess student learning as well as in using assessment results to guide decision making.  Much of the work of the Assessment Advisory committee likely will occur outside of the traditional academic year (i.e., during January or summer months). 

 

In no more than 2 pages, please describe your qualifications to serve on the Assessment Advisory Committee, including (but not limited to) such experiences as the following:

  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning grants, projects, presentations, publications
  • Assessment workshops or conferences attended
  • Awards related to teaching & learning or assessment
  • Experiences as a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow or Scholar
  • Participation in Lesson Study
  • Experience on department or college assessment committee
  • Experience as a department assessment liaison

 

 


 

Appendix B

 

Guidelines and Helpful Hints for Developing Course Embedded Assessment Tools

 

Types of Assessment Instruments

 

These two sources can help faculty determine what type of instrument to use:

 

1.       “Evaluating Assessment Strategies” for classroom and course data, on The American Psychological Association’s Assessment division’s website:  http://www.apa.org/ed/eval_strategies.html.  This website evaluates both qualitative and quantitative assessment strategies. 

·         The site includes both traditional methods of evaluating students (ie, objective or essay tests) and newer methods designed specifically for assessment.

·         The introduction explains the difference between evaluating students (grading) and assessment, and explains how assessment can be embedded into graded exams and assignments.

·         Each entry identifies the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

 

2.       Thomas A Angelo and K. Patricia Cross, Classroom Assessment Techniques:  A Handbook for College Teachers 2nd ed. (San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass, 1993).  At least 30 copies are floating around UW-L.  Newer faculty may own a copy of this book, as do the organizers of the CoTL conference;  faculty who have been a Wisconsin Teaching Scholar or Fellow might own a copy;  a copy is also on 3-day reserve in Murphy Library in the Faculty Development Collection (LB2822.75 .A54 1993). 

·         This book provides generalized designs for assessment instruments and illustrates several adaptations of each design to particular courses and disciplines.  Each entry starts with an estimate of the time and energy necessary for faculty to design it, students to take it, and faculty to evaluate data from it.  Each entry explains the pros and cons of each instrument and a step-by-step process for adapting the design to a specific course.  The book includes fifty assessment designs.

·         Note that some of these techniques merely provide instructors with a quick check on student understanding in the midst of a class session or with a check-in on how students think the course is going, and are thus not adequate for assessing program-level outcomes. 

·         To locate the instrument designs most likely to serve well for GE or department assessment, use the Teaching Goals Inventory in the book, or online with automated scoring at http://www.uiowa.edu/~centeach/tgi/index.html   The inventory will identify the relevant “cluster” of outcomes for your course.  You can conduct an extensive inventory of a course, or focus simply on the main priorities (ie, the GE or program outcomes reflected in the work you assign students to do to demonstrate their understanding).  The inventory will identify the types of learning (“Teaching Goal Inventory clusters”) you are emphasizing in that course.  Then use the chart on p. 113 in the book to identify which CATs might work for you.

 

 

Assessment Instruments

 

1.       Don’t reinvent the wheel.  See Angelo and Cross as described above for general designs for instruments.

 

2.       Graded work you already assign can function for assessment purposes. 

 

3.       Determine which outcome each item of your exam or assignment addresses.  Extract those that measure the GE or program outcome you are measuring.

 

4.       One instrument can measure three outcomes.  This is particularly true of qualitative instruments.  Each outcome would be scored with a rubric designed for that outcome.

 

 

Evaluating Qualitative Assignments

 

1.       Evaluate qualitative instruments with rubrics.  The Academy of Art University provides a clear explanation of the value of rubrics and some guidelines for creating and using them at http://faculty.academyart.edu/resources/rubrics.asp

 

2.       A 5-point rubric allows you to use the assessment evaluation for grading as well.  It also provides sufficient variation to be useful for guiding program improvement.

 

3.       A rubric is well-designed when it is clear, specific, and simple enough that different raters score the same student work similarly.

 

4.       Define levels clearly and specifically (ie, not just “unsatisfactory” to “superlative” or “F” to “A”).  Think of it as explaining the difference between an A and a B and a C . . .

 

5.       Break out the components of the outcome in your rubric. 

 

6.       Rubrics programmed as quizzes on D2L or SurveySelect provide electronic data;  analysis can then be automated.  They can also be make available to multiple instructors of the same course or to assessment committees.

 

7.       Don’t reinvent the wheel, but choose or alter a rubric that fits the outcome, not just the content.  See the chart below for a variety of online sources by GE outcome.  If what you need is not included below, try a meta-site like NC State’s “Internet Resources for Higher Education Outcomes Assessment:”  http://www2.acs.ncsu.edu/UPA/assmt/resource.htm#area  This site includes resources by discipline as well as for General Education.

 

8.       Many of the rubrics available online indicate only 3 or 4 levels.  These are less valuable both for assessment and for grading.  You can adapt them, often by adding a higher level that indicates more advanced levels of thinking.  Remember that the prompts for GE rubric levels are: 

            1.  None

            2.  Limited

            3.  Proficient

            4.  Advanced

            5.  Exemplary

 

 


 

Appendix C

 

Examples of Course Embedded Assessment tools

 

Example 1

 

Student Learning Outcome: 

III.6. Detect patterns underlying phenomena and draw reasonable inferences from information

 

Question:

Filene’s Basement, a local Boston discount department store, sells a wide selection of household goods and clothing. The manager of household linens is facing an oversupply of queen size sheets and must decide whether or not to put them on sale during the month of November. While reading the Boston Globe over coffee this past Sunday, she saw that Mattress Discounters, a local mattress shop located down the street from Filenes, is having a gigantic sale on its queen size mattresses starting this weekend and continuing throughout the month. Explain in words what effect, if any, this should have on her decision about a sale on sheets.

 

Answer:

Because queen size mattresses and queen size sheets are complement goods and the mattress seller is having a sale (which will result in an increased quantity of mattresses purchased), the household linens manager should expect to sell more sheets holding her price constant. Therefore, she may be able to reduce her stock of sheets without reducing the price.

 


 

Example 2

 

Student Learning Outcome:

I.2.     State an idea/argument and develop it in a logical, organized form using conventional grammar, punctuation and formatting

I.3.     Formulate and support ideas with sufficient reasoning, evidence and persuasive appeals, and proper attribution

IV.6. Identify diverse moral and ethical perspectives, principles, and systems of evaluation

 

 

Students read a text that contains an ethical issue that originates in cultural differences, such as The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down:  A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman.  They write a 5-6 page essay in response to this prompt prior to any discussion of the book in class:

 

Why did this conflict develop?  Why were the two principal parties to the issue unable to avert the collision of cultures?

 


 

Student responses are assessed using the following rubric:
 

Writing Assessment Rubric

 

Critical Questions

1.  Naïve

2.  Weak

3 Competent

4.  Proficient

5.  Sophisticated

Rhetorical Qualities

Is the writing cast appropriately to its purposes?  Does it make a transaction with its intended audience?

Does the writer present her/himself appropriately and effectively?

The purposes are unclear, trite, or inappropriate.

The writing is inappropriate for its audience.

The writer’s persona is inappropriate and/or ineffective.

The purposes are weak or inconsistent.

Rhetorical strategies are inappropriate or inadequate to purposes (e.g., anecdotes instead of analysis).

Some audience needs & attitudes are addressed, others ignored.

The writer’s persona is marginally acceptable.

Scores Proficient on at least three of the five criteria.

The purposes are consistent, appropriate, & interesting.

The writing anticipates & meets most audience needs & attitudes and is appropriate to the context and situation.

The writer’s persona is appropriate.

The purposes are compelling & carried out in intriguing ways.

The writing is sensitive to the context and situation and to the needs & attitudes of the audience, guiding their understanding very well.

The writer’s persona is effective.

Argument

Is there a strong focus? A clear train of thought for consistent thesis development or a purposeful narrative?  

The thesis is not stated or difficult to find.

The train of thought is difficult to follow.

Transitions are missing.

The thesis is weak.

The train of thought is mechanical or fails to emphasize important ideas.

Transitions are weak or mechanical.

 

The thesis is clear.

The train of thought is easily followed.

Most transitions are smooth.

The thesis is clear & strong, commanding reader attention.

The train of thought is intriguing.

Transitions are insightful.

Development of Content & Reasoning

Are relevant contexts considered and explored? (Contexts may be historical, theoretical/conceptual, philosophical, situational, etc.) Are claims supported with adequate evidence and reasoning?  Has adequate research been done to support the purpose?

No contexts for the purpose and subject are established.

Very little support is given for claims.

Reasoning is missing, weak, or confused.

There is little interesting  or relevant detail or imagery.

Relevant sources are not used.

Very little context is established or explored.

Weak support supplied for claims.

Reasoning is undeveloped.

The descriptive texture is thin:  few details or images.

Sources are not well introduced or integrated.

 

Significant contexts are established for both subject & purposes.

Solid support is given for claims.

Clear reasoning.

Detail & imagery are adequate.

Sources are used to give meaningful support..

The writer establishes a rich set of contexts.

Supporting evidence is well chosen and abundant.

Reasoning is compelling.

Detail and imagery are rich and engaging.

The writer has excellent command of relevant sources and integrates them effectively.

Prose Style

Prose refers to the techniques and patterns the writer uses to cast her ideas and purposes into language.  Effective prose is concise, clear, coherent, emphatic, and—above all—interesting to read.

Sentence structure is awkward, wordy, or painful to read.

Vocabulary is poorly chosen.

Coherence gaps are frequent.

The style is inappropriate.

Sentence structures are bland; clichés abound.

Vocabulary is awkward in places.

Coherence gaps occur.

The style is inconsistent.

 

Sentence structure is clear and concise.

Vocabulary is precise.

The writing is coherent.

The style is appropriate to the genre & purpose.

Sentence structure and vocabulary are lively and interesting.

The style is completely suited to the genre & purpose.

 

Conventions & Format

This category refers both to the correctness of the grammar, spelling, and punctuation and to the quality of the format: its consistency and appropriateness to the genre and the rhetorical situation. 

Errors in conventions &/or format make reading difficult.

Punctuation is often missing or incorrect.

Spelling errors are frequent.

Citations &/or documentation are incorrect, incomplete, or  missing.

Control over conventions & format is inconsistent and/or distracting.

Spelling problems are recurring.

Some punctuation is wrong or awkward.

Errors occur in citation &/or documentation.

 

 

Appropriate genre conventions & format are used.

Spelling & typographical errors are quite minimal.

Punctuation is clear & conventional.

Citations & documentation are mostly conventional & complete.

Conventions and format are used for interesting effects.

Punctuation is clear & effective.

All elements of format and mechanics are handled well.

Citations & documentation are conventional & complete.

 

from the Gen Ed Assessment Team: 8/31/04   Terry Beck with Linda Dickmeyer, Mike Durnin, and Brad Seebach  – Adapted by Deb Hoskins   DRAFT


 

Example 3

 

Student Learning Outcome:

II.3. Formulate and support ideas with sufficient reasoning, evidence and persuasive appeals, and proper attribution

 

CRITICAL THINKING WORKSHEET #6:

SYNTHESIS TASK—“The nature/nurture issue”

 

                                                                                                                        SCORE______    NAME_________________________________________________

                                                                               

ID#____________________________________________________

 

======================================================================               

 One of the enduring issues in psychology is the question over the contributions of "nature" vs. "nurture" in determining human functioning (e.g., behavior or mental states).  For your essay:

 

·         Explain what is meant by the nature/nurture issue (your text can help)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·         Currently, most psychologists say that the question "Is it nature OR nurture?" is not a useful way to frame the discussion about human functioning.  How should we frame the discussion --and WHY?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·         Use not more than 2 additional sheets of paper (one side only) and provide at least 3 (THREE) different examples, each from a different chapter in the Myers text, which are evidence of the complexity of the nature/nurture relationship.   Provide examples (be sure to cite the chapter, page numbers and names) that argue that BOTH types of factors should be considered, and their relationship.  Be sure to identify the behavior or psychological condition chosen for each example.

DO NOT USE THE EXAMPLE GIVEN IN GROUP-but it should provide clues of what to look for.

Typed or computer-printed responses of ½ page for each example should be plenty.  If hand-written, please write legibly.

Bring this, uncompleted, and your TEXT to your small group meeting Either NOV 30TH or DEC 7TH 

Due DEC 12TH   in class


 

Example 4

 

Student Learning Outcome

I.6.   Construct and use models to analyze, explain or predict phenomena

 

Multiple choice and problem solving.

 

Five million years ago an ancestral elephant species, Primeelephas, roamed much of Africa.  Over time they evolved into the modern African Elephant.  Some of these Primeelephas, also migrated to Asia where they evolved into ancestors of modern Asian Elephants (Southeast Asia) and Wooly Mammoths (Siberia).  Eventually the Wooly Mammoths crossed the Bering Straits and entered North America.  Modern Asian and African elephants are the only species of elephants still alive today. 

 

Diagram an evolutionary tree that includes all four species of elephant mentioned in the passage above.

 

  


 

Present

 

11,000

years ago

 

 

 

                        This is graded with

                        the rubric below.

 

 

5 million

years ago

 

 

 

                

 

  


 

1.       You would find the most sequence similarity between Wooly Mammoth DNA and the DNA from…

a.         Primeelephas

b.         Asian Elephants

c.         African Elephants


 

 

2.       If we took a modern Asian elephant and tried to breed it with a Wooly mammoth they could not produce viable offspring.  Wooly mammoths and modern Asian elephants

a.         Do not have a common ancestor

b.         Are different species

c.         Would look the same

d.         Would be adapted to similar environments

e.         Are both extinct

 

3.       If Asian and African Elephants are the only surviving species mentioned in the text, what happened to the Wooly Mammoths and Primeelephas?

a.         They became modern elephants

b.         They became other species

c.         They moved to other parts of the world

d.         They became extinct

e.         They wouldn’t fit on Noah’s Ark

 

4.       Elephants and penguins both have hind legs, while leeches do not.  This can be explained because

a.         Elephants evolved from penguins

b.         Elephants and penguins are adapted to the same environment

c.         Elephants and penguins have a more recent common ancestor

d.         Elephants and penguins can’t swim

 

5.       A branch point in an evolutionary tree represents

a.         A modern species that gave rise to a new species

b.         An extinct common ancestor to species found on the branches

c.         An extinct ancestor to just one of the species found on the branches

d.         A specific mating between two different species

e.         A time when natural selection did not occur

 


 

Demonstration

Of SLO

None

Limited

Proficient

Advanced

Exemplary

Score

1

2

3

4

5

Timing

No indication of the relative time periods specific species existed.

No distinction made between extinct and modern species.

2 or more species not present during the times indicated in the question.

1 species not present during the times indicated in the question.

All species present during the times indicated in the question.

Ancestry

No branch points, and modern species shown giving rise to other modern species

No branch points, or modern species appear where ancestral species should appear.

No common ancestors correctly indicated at branch points.

Some common ancestors correctly indicated at branch points.

All common ancestors correctly indicated at branch points.

 


 

Appendix D

 

Examples of Rubrics for Evaluating University Core Student Learning Outcomes

 

I Goal:  Foundations of Knowledge

Students will be able to:

1.       Express ideas, facts, opinions and beliefs in ways that are relevant and appropriate to the audience, context, purpose and genre

·         Winona State’s website includes a variety of writing rubrics specific to particular disciplines.  Look under “Essays” or search the page by discipline or topic:  http://www.winona.edu/AIR/rubrics.htm

 

2.       State an idea/argument and develop it in a logical, organized form using conventional grammar, punctuation and formatting

·         http://www.uwc.ucf.edu/Faculty_Resources/fac_assessing_writing_pages/fac_rubric_analysis.htm

 

3.       Formulate and support ideas with sufficient reasoning, evidence and persuasive appeals, and proper attribution

·         ihttp://www.winona.edu/AIR/documents/usdsocialintegration.pdf   

 

4.       Accurately summarize and interpret the purposes and main ideas of texts and performances

·         The assignment behind this adaptable rubric is to analyze a primary source (historical):  http://www.phschool.com/professional_development/assessment/rub_anaylyzing_prim_src.html

 

5.       Use a variety of resources and current technology to locate, retrieve and evaluate relevant sources and information

·         These standards for information literacy could serve as a rubric:  http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm#stan

·         This rubric assesses a bibliographical assignment for a global studies course:  http://www.uwgb.edu/assessment/assessment/gea_scales_examples.html#Everingham

 

6.       Construct and use models to analyze, explain or predict phenomena

·         This rubric could work for a variety of student-designed research or problem-solving projects:  http://www.csufresno.edu/ir/assessment/documents/CSBProjectRubric.pdf

 

7.       Use mathematical and logical methods to solve problems

·         http://www.csufresno.edu/ir/assessment/documents/QuantRubric.pdf

·         These rubrics could work for a variety problem-solving projects:  http://www.csufresno.edu/ir/assessment/documents/CSBProjectRubric.pdf http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/assessment/CreativeProblemSolving.htm

 

8.       Identify fundamental principles, theories, concepts, methodologies, tools and issues from various disciplines

·         Here’s one that integrates science with society:  http://www.csufresno.edu/ir/assessment/documents/1B_integrative_science_022006.pdf

 

9.       Synthesize information from different disciplines and perspectives to solve problems, gain new experiences, or create new things

·         To date, rubrics to assess synthesis are too basic to be very useful.  A group of instructors could collaborate to develop a useful rubric.

 

10.   Engage effectively in the process of collaborative work and identify factors that facilitate and impede effective communication

·         Here’s a rubric that evaluates participation and leadership:  http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/assessment/ParticipateAndLead.htm

·         This simple rubric evaluates online discussions and could be used for face-to-face discussions too:  http://lpc1.clpccd.cc.ca.us/lpc/blackboard/discussions/discuss_rubrics.htm  

·         This extensive rubric for evaluating online discussion in history courses could be adapted to other fields: http://history.boisestate.edu/westciv/admin/rubricdiscussion.shtml

·         Here’s a simple rubric you could use in class for evaluating discussions:  http://www.landmark-project.com/classweb/tools/printable.php?rbrc_id=64683

 

II.  Goal:  Aesthetic Perspective and Meaning

Students will be able to:

1.       Identify appropriate methods for understanding and interpreting the aesthetics of various works

·          

2.       Evaluate artistic presentations using appropriate language and patterns of thought

·         This rubric on the use of values in decision-making could be adapted for a range of purposes, from ethical decision-making to analyzing the aesthetics of a work of art:  http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/assessment/DecisionMaking.htm

 

3.       Evaluate artistic presentations as commentary on society and the human experience

·         This rubric on the use of values in decision-making could be adapted for a range of purposes, from ethical decision-making to analyzing the aesthetics of a work of art:  http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/assessment/DecisionMaking.htm

 

4.       Identify diverse elements (artistic, scientific, religious, cultural) that can provide meaning for human existence

·          

5.       Explain factors that make their own lives meaningful

·          

 

III. Goal:  Inquiry and Critical Thinking

Students will be able to:

1.       Identify and use methods of inquiry appropriate to a given problem

·         This rubric comes from business:  http://academic.scranton.edu/department/assessment/ksom/Case-Analysis-Rubric.pdf  It might be combined with this decision-making rubric from the same department:  http://academic.scranton.edu/department/assessment/ksom/Decision-Making-Rubric.pdf

·          

2.       Identify valid procedures for gathering empirical data to solve particular problems

·          

3.       Investigate and assess hypotheses using appropriate methods

·          

4.       Critically assess the reasoning and evidence supporting or refuting a thesis

·          

5.       Distinguish between fact, opinion, observation and inference

·          

6.       Detect patterns underlying phenomena and draw reasonable inferences from information

·          

7.       Reason logically, creatively and independently

·         Here’s a rubric for assessing creative work:  http://www.zimmerworks.com/rubric.htm  Several of the elements here could be used to assess creative thinking.

·         This rubric assesses the stages of inquiry:  http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/assessment/Inquiry.htm

 

8.       Explain the impact of science and technology on the environment, human experience and social change

·          

9.       Explain how content is shaped by the context in which it was created

·         The assignment behind this adaptable rubric is to analyze a primary source (historical):  http://www.phschool.com/professional_development/assessment/rub_anaylyzing_prim_src.html

 

 


 

IV.  Goal:  Personal, Social and Global Responsibility

Students will be able to:

1.       Describe how cultural and individual differences have shaped perspectives and contributed to patterns of privilege and oppression

·          

2.       Explain how values and ideas of cultures have evolved and how patterns of globalization have shaped the modern world

·          

3.       Recognize and respect different ways of thinking and communicating

·          

4.       Explain the rationales for cultural behaviors different from one’s own

·          

5.       Communicate effectively with members of another culture

·         A very comprehensive rubric:  http://www.metiri.com/WebInvestigation/Stuff/rubric.doc

 

6.       Identify diverse moral and ethical perspectives, principles, and systems of evaluation

·          

7.       Articulate their moral values, the processes they use to make ethical decisions and their perspective on current ethical issues

·         This would be based on a case study:  http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/d/x/dxm12/n458/sample_case_rubric.htm

·         This rubric on the use of values in decision-making could be adapted for a range of purposes, from ethical decision-making to analyzing the aesthetics of a work of art:  http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/assessment/DecisionMaking.htm

 

8.       Explain how knowledge from various disciplines is essential to individual and societal health and well-being

·         This rubric assesses a student’s creation and implementation of a wellness plan:  http://www.winona.edu/AIR/documents/wellnesslogskwtch.pdf

 

9.       Identify their strategies for involvement, leadership and civic engagement

·         Here’s a rubric that evaluates participation and leadership:  http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/assessment/ParticipateAndLead.htm

 

10.   Analyze the impact their decisions and choices have on themselves and others

·         This rubric on the use of values in decision-making could be adapted for a range of purposes, from ethical decision-making to analyzing the aesthetics of a work of art:  http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/assessment/DecisionMaking.htm

 

11.   Practice and uphold standards of academic integrity and intellectual honesty

·         See “Standard Five:”  http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm#stan

 

12.   Articulate how their participation in campus and community events and in the democratic process has made a difference in their lives and the lives of others

·         This rubric assesses student writing on service-learning projects:  http://www.winona.edu/AIR/documents/reflectionrubric-1.pdf

·         This document includes rubrics to assess both individual students and groups working in community/campus projects as well as a rubric to assess the project itself:  http://www.winona.edu/AIR/documents/Community-SchoolPartnershipservicelearning.pdf

 

 


 

Appendix E

 

NSSE items by General Education Student Learning Outcome Category

 

Foundations of Knowledge

o        Made a class presentation

o        Worked on a paper or project that required integrating ideas or information from various sources

o        Number of books read on your own (not assigned) for personal enjoyment or academic enrichment

o        Number of problem sets that take you more than an hour to complete (in a typical week)

o        Number of problem sets that take you less than an hour to complete (in a typical week)

o        Number of written papers or reports of 20 pages or more

o        Number of written papers or reports between 5 and 19 pages

o        Number of written papers or reports of fewer than 5 pages

o        Contributed to: Writing clearly and effectively

o        Contributed to: Speaking clearly and effectively

o        Contributed to: analyzing quantitative problems

o        Contributed to: using computing and information technology

o        Put together ideas or concepts from different courses when completing assignments or during class discussions

o        Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with others outside of class (students, family members, coworkers, etc.)

 

Inquiry and Critical Thinking

o        Contributed to: Thinking critically and analytically

o        Coursework emphasized: Memorizing facts, ideas or methods from your courses and readings so you can repeat them in pretty much the same form

o        Coursework emphasized: Analyzing the basic elements of an idea, experience, or theory, such as examining a particular case or situation in depth

o        Coursework emphasized: Synthesizing and organizing ideas, information, or experiences into new, more complex interpretations and relationships

o        Coursework emphasized: Making judgments about the value of information, arguments, or methods, such as examining how others gathered and interpreted data

o        Coursework emphasized: Applying theories or concepts to practical problems or in new situations

 

Aesthetic Perspective and Meaning

o        Attended an art exhibit, gallery, play, dance, or other theater performance. 

 

Personal, Social and Global Responsibility

o       Included diverse perspectives (different races, religions, genders, political beliefs, etc.) in class discussions or writing assignments

o       Had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity than your own

o       Had serious conversations with students who are very different from you in terms of their religious beliefs, political opinions, or personal values

o       Foreign language coursework

o       Study abroad

o       Emphasize: Encouraging contact among students from different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds

o       Contributed to: Understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds

o        Participated in a community-based project as part of a regular course

o        Practicum, internship, field experience, co-op experience, or clinical assignment

o        Community service or volunteer work

o        Contributed to: Working effectively with others

o        Contributed to: Voting in local, state, or national elections

o        Contributed to: Learning effectively on your own

o        Contributed to: Understanding yourself

o        Contributed to: Understanding people of other racial or ethnic backgrounds

o        Contributed to: Solving complex real-world problems

o        Contributed to: Developing a personal code of values and ethics

o        Contributed to: Contributing to the welfare of your community

o        Examined the strengths and weaknesses of your own views on a topic or issue

o        Tried to better understand someone else's views by imagining how an issue looks from his or her perspective

o        Learned something that changed the way you understand an issue or concept


 

Appendix F

 

Student, Faculty and Alumni Surveys

 

UW-L Student Survey on University Core (General Education)

 

1.       Which class are you in?

            5  Freshman         5  Sophomore         5  Junior         5  Senior         5 Other

 

2.       In which college is your major located?

5      College of Business Administration

5      College of Liberal Studies

5      College of Science and Health

 

3.       In which college is your minor located?

5      College of Business Administration

5      College of Liberal Studies

5      College of Science and Health

 

4.       What is your gender?

        5 Male 5  Female

 

5.       Did you transfer to UWL from another campus?

        5 Yes  5  No (skip to #7)

 

6.       What percent of your University Core (General Education) courses did you take at UWL?

        5 more than 75%          5  50-75%        5  25-50%        5  less than 25%

 

7.       After graduation, what are your plans?

        5  Get a job                         5  Go to graduate school                 5 Go to professional school           5 Other (please describe)

 

          Other ____________________________________________________________________________________________    

 

How would you evaluate the University Core (General Education) Program at UWL in the following areas:

 

Excellent

Good

Average

Fair

Poor

The overall value of the University Core (General Education) program

q

q

q

q

q

The effectiveness of the University Core (General Education) program

q

q

q

q

q

The number of credits required

q

q

q

q

q

The flexibility of the program

q

q

q

q

q

The overall quality of the courses offered

q

q

q

q

q

For most categories, the large array of courses from which I can choose

q

q

q

q

q

The instructors of University Core (General Education) courses

q

q

q

q

q

The foundation that University Core (General Education) courses provided for courses in my major

q

q

q

q

q

 


 

How well do you think University Core (General Education) courses help to improve your performance in the following areas:

 

Excellent

Good

Average

Fair

Poor

Ability to write effectively

q

q

q

q

q

Ability to speak effectively

q

q

q

q

q

Accurately summarize and interpret written information

q

q

q

q

q

Self-confidence in expressing ideas

q

q

q

q

q

Ability to apply math concepts

q

q

q

q

q

Defining and solving problems

q

q

q

q

q

Use resources and technology to locate, retrieve and evaluate information

q

q

q

q

q

Increase interest in global issues

q

q

q

q

q

Explain the rationales for different cultural behaviors

q

q

q

q

q

Explain patterns of privilege and oppression

q

q

q

q

q

Evaluate artistic presentations

q

q

q

q

q

Scientifically evaluate evidence

q

q

q

q

q

Recognize and articulate my personal values

q

q

q

q

q

Identify diverse moral and ethical perspectives

q

q

q

q

q

Adopt a healthy life style

q

q

q

q

q

Explain how patterns of globalization have shaped the modern world

q

q

q

q

q

 

(continued on next page)
Chose the rating that best reflects your perceptions of the University Core (General Education) Program
:

 

The university core (general education) program is expressed primarily as a list of courses I must take.

1

2

3

4

5

The university core (general education) program is expressed primarily as a set of goals for my learning and development.

The university core (general education) program is fragmented.  Separate courses and academic disciplines stress particular content and approaches.  It is up to me to search for commonalities and make connections.

1

2

3

4

5

The university core (general education) program strives for a coherent educational experience through required core courses, interdisciplinary courses, capstone courses, emphasis on the acquisition of intellectual and communication skills, focus on the development of personal qualities in students, or similar means.

The faculty who teach university core (general education) courses consider students to be similar and interchangeable.  They strive to teach at a level that all students can readily grasp.

1

2

3

4

5

The faculty who teach university core (general education) courses are responsive to students at different levels, with different high school preparations, and with different learning styles.

Faculty teach university core (general education) classes primarily as a service to students majoring in other disciplines and view this as an academic chore or burden.

1

2

3

4

5

Faculty and department chairs regard teaching in our university core (general education) program as an opportunity for investigating new ways of teaching one’s discipline and engaging all students in their discipline.

The university core (general education) requirements are an obstacle that stands in the way of taking more important courses in my major.

1

2

3

4

5

The university core (general education) requirements helped me become a better educated person.

The courses for my major are not grounded in the coursework and perspectives that I encountered in my university core (general education) courses.

1

2

3

4

5

My university core (general education) courses provided me with an important foundation for the coursework and perspectives I encountered in my major.  Faculty teaching my major courses were familiar with and built upon the content and perspectives provided in university core (general education) courses.

 

 


 

UW-L Alumni Survey on University Core General Education

 

1.       What is your age?

            5 

 

2.       In which college was your major located?

5      College of Business Administration

5      College of Liberal Studies

5      College of Science and Health (now includes departments formerly in the College of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Teacher Education)   

 

3.       In which college was your minor located?

5      College of Business Administration

5      College of Liberal Studies

5      College of Science and Health (now includes departments formerly in the College of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Teacher Education)   

 

4.       What is your gender?

        5 Male 5  Female

 

5.       Did you transfer to UWL from another campus?

        5 Yes  5  No (skip to #7)

 

6.       What percent of your General Education courses did you take at UWL?

        5 more than 75%          5  50-75%        5  25-50%        5  less than 25%

 

7.       After graduation, what did you do?

        5  Got a job                         5  Went to graduate school             5 Went to professional school       5 Other (please describe)

 

          Other ____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

8.       Looking back on the courses you took at UW-La Crosse, which course(s) have you found most useful since graduation?  Why?

 

9.       Which General Education course had the greatest impact on you?  How or why?

 

10.   Are there any other comments that you would like to make about your General Education experience at UW-La Crosse and/or how it relates to your work experience?

 

How would you evaluate the General Education Program at UWL in the following areas:

 

Excellent

Good

Average

Fair

Poor

The overall value of the General Education program

q

q

q

q

q

The effectiveness of the General Education program

q

q

q

q

q

The number of credits required

q

q

q

q

q

The flexibility of the program

q

q

q

q

q

The overall quality of the courses offered

q

q

q

q

q

For most categories, the large array of courses from which I could choose

q

q

q

q

q

The instructors of General Education courses

q

q

q

q

q

The foundation that General Education courses provided for courses in my major

q

q

q

q

q

 

How well do you think General Education courses helped to improve your performance in the following areas:

 

Excellent

Good

Average

Fair

Poor

Ability to write effectively

q

q

q

q

q

Ability to speak effectively

q

q

q

q

q

Accurately summarize and interpret written information

q

q

q

q

q

Self-confidence in expressing ideas

q

q

q

q

q

Ability to apply math concepts

q

q

q

q

q

Defining and solving problems

q

q

q

q

q

Use resources and technology to locate, retrieve and evaluate information

q

q

q

q

q

Increase interest in global issues

q

q

q

q

q

Explain the rationales for different cultural behaviors

q

q

q

q

q

Explain patterns of privilege and oppression

q

q

q

q

q

Evaluate artistic presentations

q

q

q

q

q

Scientifically evaluate evidence

q

q

q

q

q

Recognize and articulate my personal values

q

q

q

q

q

Identify diverse moral and ethical perspectives

q

q

q

q

q

Adopt a healthy life style

q

q

q

q

q

Explain how patterns of globalization have shaped the modern world

q

q

q

q

q

 

(continued on next page)
Chose the rating that best reflects your perceptions of the General Education Program
:

 

The general education program was expressed primarily as a list of courses I had to take.

1

2

3

4

5

The general education program was expressed primarily as a set of goals for my learning and development.

The general education program was fragmented.  Separate courses and academic disciplines stressed particular content and approaches.  It was up to me to search for commonalities and make connections.

1

2

3

4

5

The general education program strived for a coherent educational experience through required core courses, interdisciplinary courses, capstone courses, emphasis on the acquisition of intellectual and communication skills, focus on the development of personal qualities in students, or similar means.

The faculty who taught general education courses considered students to be similar and interchangeable.  They strived to teach at a level that all students could readily grasp.

1

2

3

4

5

The faculty who taught general education courses were responsive to students at different levels, with different high school preparations, and with different learning styles.

Faculty taught general education classes primarily as a service to students majoring in other disciplines and saw this as an academic chore or burden.

1

2

3

4

5

Faculty and department chairs regarded teaching in our general education program as an opportunity for investigating new ways of teaching one’s discipline and engaging all students in their discipline.

The general education requirements helped me become a better educated person

1

2

3

4

5

The general education requirements were an obstacle that stood in the way of taking more important courses in my major.

The courses for my major were not grounded in the coursework and perspectives that I encountered in my general education courses.

1

2

3

4

5

My general education courses provided me with an important foundation for the coursework and perspectives I encountered in my major.  Faculty who taught my major courses were familiar with and built upon the content and perspectives provided in general education courses.


 

UW-L Faculty Survey on General Education

 

1.       What is your position at UW-L?

      5  Faculty                   5  Instructional Academic Staff         5  Administrator         5 Other

 

2.       What is your college affiliation?

5                  College of Business Administration

5                  College of Liberal Studies

5                  College of Science and Health

 

3.       What is your rank?

5 Full Professor                        5  Associate Professor

        5  Assistant Professor              5  Instructional Academic Staff

        5 Other ________________________________________________

 

How would you evaluate the General Education Program at UWL in the following areas:

 

Excellent

Good

Average

Fair

Poor

The overall value of the General Education program

q

q

q

q

q

The effectiveness of the General Education program

q

q

q

q

q

The number of credits required

q

q

q

q

q

The flexibility of the program

q

q

q

q

q

The overall quality of the courses offered

q

q

q

q

q

For most categories, the large array of courses from which students can choose

q

q

q

q

q

The instructors of General Education courses

q

q

q

q

q

The foundation that General Education courses provide for students’ majors

q

q

q

q

q

 

How well do you think General Education courses help student performance in the following areas:

 

Excellent

Good

Average

Fair

Poor

Ability to write effectively

q

q

q

q

q

Ability to speak effectively

q

q

q

q

q

Accurately summarize and interpret written information

q

q

q

q

q

Self-confidence in expressing ideas

q

q

q

q

q

Ability to apply math concepts

q

q

q

q

q

Defining and solving problems

q

q

q

q

q

Use resources and technology to locate, retrieve and evaluate information

q

q

q

q

q

Increase interest in global issues.

q

q

q

q

q

Explain the rationales for different cultural behaviors

q

q

q

q

q

Explain patterns of privilege and oppression

q

q

q

q

q

Evaluate artistic presentations

q

q

q

q

q

Scientifically evaluate evidence

q

q

q

q

q

Recognize and articulate personal values

q

q

q

q

q

Identify diverse moral and ethical perspectives

q

q

q

q

q

Adopt a healthy life style

q

q

q

q

q

Explain how patterns of globalization have shaped the modern world

q

q

q

q

q

 

 

Chose the rating that best reflects your perceptions of the General Education Program:

 

The general education program is expressed primarily as a list of courses students must take

1

2

3

4

5

The general education program is expressed primarily as a set of goals for student learning and development.

The general education program is fragmented.  Separate courses and academic disciplines stress particular content and approaches.  It is up to students to search for commonalities and make connections.

1

2

3

4

5

The general education program strives for a coherent educational experience through required core courses, interdisciplinary courses, capstone courses, emphasis on the acquisition of intellectual and communication skills, focus on the development of personal qualities in students, or similar means.

The faculty who teach general education courses consider students to be similar and interchangeable.  They strive to teach at a level that all students can readily grasp.

1

2

3

4

5

The faculty who teach general education courses are responsive to students at different levels, with different high school preparations, and with different learning styles.

Faculty teaching general education classes primarily as a service to students majoring in other disciplines and as an academic chore or burden.

1

2

3

4

5

Faculty and department chairs regard teaching in our general education program as an opportunity for investigating new ways of teaching one’s discipline and engaging all students in their discipline.

The general education requirements are an obstacle that stands in the way of students taking more important courses.

1

2

3

4

5

The general education requirements help students become better educated people.

The courses in most majors are not grounded in the coursework and perspectives that are encountered in general education courses

1

2

3

4

5

General education courses provided students with an important foundation for the coursework and perspectives encountered in their major.  Faculty teaching courses in a major are familiar with and build upon the content and perspectives provided in general education courses.

Our general education program lacks clarity about the purposes of the program, includes too many purposes, or represents too many compromises in the design of the program

1

2

3

4

5

The purposes of our general education program are explicit and clear both for the faculty and for the students.  Our general education program is based on a coherent rationale and reflects the central educational values and commitments of our institution.

Our general education curriculum committee suffers from the lack of a clear mission, chronic paralysis, and a sense of helplessness.

1

2

3

4

5

Our general education curriculum committee is the most intellectually exciting and challenging committee on our campus.

Our general education program was formulated, approved, and implemented several years ago.  Since that time it has remained relatively static.

1

2

3

4

5

Our general education program Is continually being improved in response to reactions of students, observations of faculty who teach in the program, periodic evaluations, and renewed visions of our institution’s mission.

 


 

[1] The Task Force recommends that departments add language to departmental bylaws stating that assessment results will not be used to evaluate individual instructors in any way.

[2] In April, 2007, the Faculty Senate approved the administration of the CLA during the 2007-2008 academic year as recommended by the General Education Committee.  As such, the CLA will be administered during the 2007-2008 AY.  To schedule future administrations of the CLA in years alternate to the NSSE, UW-L will administer the CLA again in 2008-2009 and then every two years thereafter.