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Washington State University Assessment of Teaching and Learning

Team-based Online Focus Group Activity Collects Student Input on Capstone Project (Agricultural and Food Systems)

Focus groups provide a way to get feedback about student experiences, perceptions, and motivations, and can provide insight into the ways a curriculum can be most effectively designed to support student learning.

In Spring 2017, ATL worked with Dr. Desmond Layne, Director of Agricultural and Food Systems (AFS), to pilot a new focus group activity designed to elicit feedback on capstone students’ project team interactions with their industry partners. While traditional focus groups typically involve a facilitated whole group discussion, ATL’s pilot activity used a live online discussion board where teams leveraged their experience in group decision-making to respond to questions.  » More …

Using the Paired Question Technique to Assess Student Learning in General Chemistry (Chemistry)

Assessment data serve multiple functions in the assessment process. These data provide insight into student performance in order to offer evidence about student learning in the curriculum, provide information about program strengths and weaknesses, and guide decision-making. A robust data set provides a rich base for analysis, faculty discussion, and evidence-based decision making. In this way, assessment results inform continual reflection and discussion to ensure effective teaching and learning.  » More …

Inaugural Celebration of Assessment Excellence at WSU

Provost Dan Bernardo.The Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL), along with Provost Daniel J. Bernardo and Vice Provosts Erica W. Austin and Mary F. Wack, are delighted to recognize undergraduate programs, departments and schools where program-level assessment is well-established, thanks in large part to the efforts of faculty assessment coordinators, chairs and directors. In November 2017, ATL and the WSU Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education hosted a Celebration of Assessment Excellence, honoring sixteen undergraduate programs on the Pullman Campus with exemplary assessment practices.  » More …

Communicating Assessment Results with Faculty (Psychology)

In successful assessment cycles, degree programs collect and interpret evidence to inform decision-making to improve student learning. Faculty and instructors play critical roles in evaluating student work and then interpreting and discussing results, so that program-level assessment can contribute to decisions about curriculum, instruction, professional development, and assessment processes.  » More …

Using a Rubric to Assess Student Learning at the Senior-Level (Sociology)

An effective system of assessing student achievement includes measures at the senior level, near graduation, providing information about what students are able to achieve at the end of the program. For many programs, senior-level direct measures connect with a capstone course, as these culminating experiences can provide valuable holistic information about students’ learning before they graduate.  » More …

Assessment of Undergraduates’ Experiences with High-Impact Practices (English)

Due to their positive associations with student learning and retention, certain undergraduate opportunities (such as first-year experiences, learning communities, undergraduate research and culminating experiments) are designated “high-impact.” High-impact practices often share several traits; for example, they demand considerable time and effort, facilitate learning outside of the classroom, require meaningful interactions with faculty and students, and provide frequent and substantive feedback.  » More …

Using Direct and Indirect Measures to Assess Student Learning (Middle Level Math Endorsement)

In effective program assessment, programs and faculty systematically collect information about student learning, discuss results, and use that information to guide decisions that affect teaching and learning in the curriculum and the student experience in the program. Assessment allows programs to examine key areas including curriculum design, instructional effectiveness, and student experience.  » More …

ATL Website Featured by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) has chosen the ATL website to be the Featured Website for April in the categories of Communication and Centralized Assessment Repository. NILOA is widely-recognized as the preeminent organization in the area of student learning outcomes assessment in higher education. The NILOA Featured Website is a service intended to highlight promising practices in innovative and transparent online communication of student learning outcomes assessment, as models to share nationwide.  » More …

Engaging Students with Case Studies

The case study method is a pedagogical approach which asks students to investigate real-world problems presented as a descriptive case about which decisions must be made. The case is a narrative, often presented without a conclusion. Case studies are distinctly problem-centered assignments, often completed in a group format – requiring students to work together with others as a team, analyze a problem, synthesize knowledge, and apply their learning to communicate a resolution to the case’s central challenge. All well-designed case studies clearly indicate student learning objectives and include assignments, enabling authentic assessment of student work. Case studies can be used at many levels and in many settings; they are widely used in undergraduate general education classes, as well as in courses for the major.  » More …

Students’ NSSE Responses Make a Difference: Encourage Your Students to Take the NSSE Survey

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) opens February 7, with email invitations to all WSU seniors and first-year students. Now is the time to encourage student participation and underscore the value of student input to continually improve the student experience at WSU. To support strong response rates – and thus provide more reliable input from students – we ask that faculty utilize the below suggestions for messaging out to students about NSSE (both in and out of the classroom).  » More …

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