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Washington State University Assessment of Teaching and Learning

Using National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Results to Assess the Senior Experience (School of Molecular Biosciences)

Every two years, WSU participates in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to help assess student engagement in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development. In collaboration with Institutional Research, ATL disaggregated 2017 WSU NSSE results by major for undergraduate academic degree programs and colleges, focusing on responses from seniors, intended to provide information about the student perspective to help continually improve the learning experience for WSU undergraduates.  Some programs also received disaggregated reports for 2014-15, as part of a pilot.

The School of Molecular Biosciences (SMB) has used the 2017 NSSE responses from their seniors to identify program strengths and set priorities for improvement, as well as corroborate the results of other assessment measures.  » More …

Program Assessment Contributes to Teaching and Service Accomplishments in Faculty Annual Review

January opens the new year and begins the annual review process for faculty, a time to reflect on and report accomplishments of the past year.  ATL joins university leadership in valuing the contributions faculty make as they engage in assessment activities that advance student learning in undergraduate courses and curricula.

Beginning in 2018, updates to WSU’s faculty manual provide a mechanism to recognize faculty participation in assessment in the annual review process, as part of Teaching or Service accomplishments, depending on the activity.  This update aligns with the university’s EPPM policies on assessment, which include recognizing assessment work in annual review at all levels.  » More …

ATL Visit to WSU Tri-Cities and Assignment Design Workshop

ATL would like to thank WSU Tri-Cities faculty and staff for a successful visit this fall. In November, ATL traveled to WSU’s Tri-Cities Campus to meet with WSU Tri-Cities colleagues about program assessment and to present a workshop on Transparent Assignment Design» More …

Accreditation Reaffirmed by NWCCU, WSU’s Next Steps Take Shape

Now that fall semester is in full swing and many faculty and administrators with assessment duties have kicked off another cycle of assessment, we in ATL find ourselves wrapping up 2018 undergraduate program assessment reporting. In doing so, we are reminded of the effort and dedication that goes into creating a viable system of assessment across all of WSU’s undergraduate programs.

We want to take a moment to recognize that, over the summer, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) reaffirmed WSU’s institutional accreditation; an acknowledgement that we, as a university, continue to meet or exceed criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. » More …

WSU-wide Summary of 2018 Undergraduate Degree Program Assessment Reports Available

In October, ATL presented Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Mary Wack and the Provost’s Accreditation, Assessment, and Academic Program Review Committee with the 2018 WSU-wide Summary of Undergraduate Degree Program Assessment Reports from all WSU undergraduate degrees.

WSU’s undergraduate degree programs report annually on their system of assessing student learning, a practice begun in 2009. Program-level assessment looks at student learning in a degree or program of study — focusing on the key skills and knowledge students should develop, as well as their experiences in the curriculum. Assessment helps faculty collaboratively develop, maintain and improve an effective curriculum that promotes student learning.  » More …

May 2018 Assignment Design Workshop Registration

The Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL) is pleased to offer an assignment design workshop this May, “Clearer Assignments Promote Better Student Work,” designed to assist instructors in designing and refining assignments to more effectively foster and assess student learning, while increasing possibilities for student success. A well-designed and transparent assignment can promote student learning by clarifying the purpose of the assignment for students, by decoding the tasks required to complete the assignment successfully, and specifying criteria for evaluation. » More …

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 …

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 …