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Washington State University Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning

WSU-wide Summary of 2017 Undergraduate Degree Program Assessment Reports Available

In October, ATL presented Provost Dan Bernardo, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Erica Austin, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Mary Wack, and the Accreditation, Assessment, and Academic Program Review Committee with the 2017 WSU-wide Summary of Undergraduate Degree Program Assessment Reports from all WSU undergraduate degrees.  » 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 …

Using Results of Course-Embedded Assignments to “Close the Loop” (Psychology)

“Painless,” “organic,” “minimally invasive” – these might be some of the adjectives used to describe the annual assessment activities of the Department of Psychology. Their practices offer others a model of efficiency in assessment, while providing useful – and actionable – information about student learning at both course and program levels.  » More …

Smith Teaching & Learning Grants: Creating New Ways to Educate Students

WSU faculty with instructional responsibilities are welcome to apply for Smith Teaching and Learning Grants to fund innovative ideas that enhance teaching and learning at WSU. This year, the Smith Teaching and Learning Grants are giving priority to projects that seek to improve teaching and learning in ways brought to light by the degree’s assessment, sustainability, or student success in large classes. Proposals are particularly sought for innovations that demonstrably enhance undergraduate student learning. Applications are due March 30, 2017 with up to seven grants awarded for up to $7,000 each.  » 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 …

Assignment Design Support for Faculty and Departments

The Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL) is pleased to offer collaborative assignment design charrettes and mini-workshops to WSU faculty and departments, adapted to meet goals, needs, and individual or group contexts. Developing powerful, clear assignments is one of the most consequential intellectual tasks that faculty undertake in their work as educators. Assignments impact student learning, yet that work is often private and unavailable for collegial exchange and knowledge building.  » More …

Assessing Students’ Abilities to Understand Diverse Disciplinary Approaches (Asia Program)

Student learning outcomes (SLOs) represent core skills and knowledge students should develop through a curriculum or program of study. SLOs provide students and faculty with a framework for understanding the goals and expectations for a degree. While all forms of assessment can provide useful information for program improvement, assessment aligned with specific student learning outcomes is crucial to supporting quality undergraduate curricula and student achievement.  » More …

Analysis of Mentor Evaluations of Interns (Human Development)

Qualitative data consists primarily of words and observations, rather than numbers. It can come in many forms and from a variety of sources, including responses to open-ended survey questions, focus group notes, interview transcripts, internship supervisor comments, essay responses, and student portfolios. Qualitative data are useful for answering “why” and “how” questions about student performance, approaches to learning, motivation, or experience.  » More …

Development of an Assessment Database to Align Data from Multiple Sources (School of Biological Sciences)

Assessment data look at student performance in order to offer evidence about student learning in the curriculum, provide information about program strengths and weaknesses, and guide decision-making. Analyzing the data (in context) gives meaning to the information collected and is essential in order to appropriately utilize and communicate the assessment results. There is no “one size fits all” approach to analyzing assessment data. ATL encourages programs to match their analysis strategy to the type of data collected and the assessment questions to be answered.  » More …

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