General Education Assessment
Helpful resource links for General Education
Education Assessment Forms Website
How to submit assessment forms. This is a user guide for using the submission web site. (Note a new version is being drafted to reflect the newest updates to the system but this version should be a useful guide.)
Purpose of Assessment
The purpose of assessment of the General Education Program is to collect information on student learning related to the program outcomes. Doing so allows individual instructors at the course level and the General Education Committee at the program level to understand student achievement of the program’s learning outcomes. This data will provide a source of information to facilitate possible programmatic and course improvements.
Roles and Responsibilities for General Education Assessment
Individual instructors, groups of instructors in multi-section courses and/or department/program liaisons are responsible for the design, implementation, and use of their assessment processes. This activity is reviewed by the General Education Assessment Committee.
The course embedded process is coordinated by the General Education Assessment Committee under the direction of the General Education Committee.
The General Education Committee makes use of the information as part of its role to regularly review the program (Faculty Senate By-Laws, Part II, Section J, Article 2).
The Assessment Coordinator serves as consultant to the GEAC and assists the GEC with use of data related to the program from other institutional projects (e.g. National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), etc.)
General Education Program Outcomes and Assessment Process
GE Student Learning Outcomes (approved Faculty Senate, 5/1/14)
Students will demonstrate knowledge and abilities relating to:
1. human cultures and the natural world;
2. critical and creative thinking;
3. aesthetic perspectives and meaning;
4. effective communication;
5. interaction in intercultural contexts;
6. individual, social, and environmental responsibility.
These are broad learning outcomes for the program as a whole, not for individual courses. For each course, departments must select one of the broad GE SLOs and then write a course-specific SLO. For more information consult the Rationale for the Changing of the General Education SLO Structure (May 2014)
1 Every General Education course will be assessed every two years. General Education Assessment thus operates on a two-year cycle.
2 Every Department or Program which offers a General Education course will submit a General Education Assessment Plan to GEAC during the spring semester preceding the start of a new assessment cycle (even numbered years)
3. If a General Education course will be taught but not be assessed during a given assessment cycle, the Department or Program offering that course must apply for a waiver from GEC, which (if approved) will exempt the course from assessment for that cycle.
4 In addition to the course-level data, the GEC will make use of other relevant institutional data streams, including the results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). The UW-L Assessment Coordinator will assist the GEC in developing reports from these sources for their use.
For more information, consult Policies and Procedures for the Assessment of the General Education Program (March 2014)
Major Steps to the Course Embedded Assessment Process
1. GE Assessment Plans: Due during the spring before the start of a new assessment cycle
a. Department completes a GE Assessment Plan, indicating for each course the semester when it will be offered, which of the six GE SLOs will be assessed in the course during the upcoming two-year cycle, and the semester and year during which that assessment will occur. Departments are free to assess each course during any semester and year they choose within the two-year cycle.
b. The GE Assessment Plan is submitted to GEAC, and accepted if complete.
c. GEC will send Assessment Plans back to the Chairs for review one year after their submission. Any changes should be noted on a revised GE Assessment Plan and returned to GEAC.
d. If the revision results in a Department or Program becoming non-compliant with any GE Assessment Policies, a waiver must be applied for from the GEC.
2. Form A: Due no later than October 1 of the academic year of assessment
a. Department writes a course-specific SLO that falls within one of the six GE SLOs.
b. Department develops an assessment task to assess the course-specific SLO.
c. Department develops an assessment rubric to classify all students in all sections of the course with respect to the course-specific SLO, based on their performance on the task. For assessment rubrics which will require a great deal of time to evaluate, classifying the performance of a random subsample of students may be appropriate; this approach should be described in detail in Form A.
d. These items are documented for purposes of General Education Program Assessment by submission to GEAC on Form A. GEAC must review and approve the Form A prior to the implementation of the assessment.
3. Form B: Due no later than July 1 of the academic year of assessment
a. Department coordinates instructors to assign the task to all students in all sections of the course.
b. Department uses the rubric to classify students’ performance on the task.
c. Department analyzes the results and indicates whether changes to curricula, pedagogy, assessment task, or assessment rubric are warranted.
d. These items are documented for purposes of General Education Program Assessment by submission to GEAC on Form B.
4. Form C: Due no later than July 1 the year following the Form B submission
a. Department documents any changes that were actually made to curricula, pedagogy, assessment task or assessment rubric. This document must directly address the items included on Form B and is submitted to GEAC on Form C.