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Washington State University Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning

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.

ATL Mini Grant Project: In the academic year 2015-16, the Department of Sociology received assessment mini grant funding in support of their project, “Pilot Senior Portfolio Rubric Assessment.” This project involved piloting a rubric to assess learning outcome achievement using senior portfolios from an internship capstone course and hiring a student worker to conduct an analysis to test rubric reliability.

According to Sarah Blake, instructor and project leader, “This project helped the department implement student learning outcomes assessment at the senior level and allowed us to examine the reliability of our rubric.”

For additional information about assessment mini grants, including examples of other previously funded projects, see ATL’s Assessment Mini-Grant webpage.

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 …

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 …

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 …

Using Case Studies to Assess Students’ Abilities to Apply Knowledge to Real-world Situations (Public Affairs)

Direct measures are assessments of students’ performances or work products that demonstrate the students’ skills and knowledge, helping to reveal what they have learned and to what extent. Direct measures come in many forms and WSU encourages programs to develop measures that fit their needs and disciplinary expectations. Results from direct measures can give faculty essential information about student achievement of program learning outcomes and insights into the effectiveness of the curriculum.  » More …

Using Exit Survey Results to Assess the Senior Experience (Construction Management)

Senior exit surveys give students an opportunity to provide feedback on their undergraduate experiences. Questions may include those about curriculum, faculty, offices and services, social opportunities, and career preparation. Academic programs can use students’ responses to inform decisions and improve student learning.  » More …

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